Saturday, June 27, 2009

Olives and Figs

A few years ago Don and I went to a really fun wine tasting party at a friends house in Tiburon. The husband (whose name I cannot recall at the moment) was in the investment banking business. He took the ferry from Tiburon into San Francisco for work. He often found himself waiting for the ferry in the evening so he would hang out at the Wine Bar in the Ferry Building. 

I think he did this quite a bit, because he became friends with the owner and the bartenders. So much so, that he decided to host a wine tasting party at his house one evening. He hired his favorite bartender to coordinate the evening with wine and food pairings.

Everything was really yummy because "the husband" hand picked everything to be served. He and his wife Gabriella are Spanish, so the theme was spanish wines and appetizers. It was here that Don and I tasted olive and fig tapenade for the first time. Yum-my. Sweet figs and salty olives combined together. Sounds kinda weird. But tastes really good.  So of course we asked the guy how he made it. He told us he buys the ingredients at Whole Foods. He combines ready made olive tapenade with fig spread. So we tried it and it was yummy. 

Ever since then I've seen it in many stores already pre-mixed together. And some of them taste pretty good. 

Here's a recipe I just found to make it yourself.  I haven't tried it yet.  But I just might this weekend.

1 cup pitted nicoise olives or other brined black olives
1 cup mission figs cut in quarters
1 T capers
1 large garlic clove crushed
3 T olive oil
1 T lemon juice
1 t fresh thyme

Blend the figs in a food processor until roughly chopped. Add the olives, capers, garlic and thyme. Pulse until blended but still has a slightly coarse texture. Add the lemon juice and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until serving.  Keeps 2-3 weeks. Best if made 1 day in advance.

Try the dip with Lesley Stowe's Raincoast Crisps (pictured above). They are Don's latest discovery.


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