The Sweet Life in Paris: Fig & Olive Tapenade
I just finished David Lebovitz's book The Sweet Life in Paris, which is such a great read.
Not only is it charming, but David (who was the pastry chef at Chez Panisse in Berkeley for 13 years) gives you some great recipes and insight to Paris, my favorite city, second to New York, of course.
Check out his blog for cool recipes and his x-pat happenings in France.
I made his AWESOME fig tapenade with dried figs & olives. I am usually uninspired by tapenade, it is always too salty, but this one was very special, it must've been the sweet mixed with savory. I served it on toasted raisin bread crostini for a party and everyone flipped.
I hope to meet Dave in Paris in September for a drink.
Hey, one can be hopeful!
David Lebovitz's Fig & Olive Tapenade:
1/2 cup (about 3 ounces) stemmed & quartered, dried Black Mission figs
1 cup water
1 cup black olives; Nicoise, Lyon, or Greek, rinsed and pitted
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
1 small garlic clove, peeled
2 anchovies, rinsed in warm water
1/2 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
black pepper and salt, if necessary
In a medium-sized saucepan, simmer the figs in the water for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Drain, reserving a few tablespoons of the liquid.
If using a food processor, pulse the pitted olives, drained figs, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, capers, and fresh rosemary to create a thick paste. Pulse in the olive oil until you've achieved a chunky-smooth paste. Season with black pepper and salt, if necessary. (The spread can be thinned with a bit of the reserved fig poaching liquid.)
If using a mortar and pestle (I used a meat tenderizer, because I don't have a mortar and pestle), mash the olives with the garlic, capers, and fresh rosemary. Pound in the drained figs. Once they are broken up, add the olive oil and season with black pepper, fig poaching liquid, and salt, if necessary.
This is best made a day or two ahead, so the flavors have time to mingle with one another!