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!


Ciao Chow Linda said…
I'm going to have to read that book. I do enjoy his blog so much. That recipe looks like dynamite. I love the interplay of the sweet and savory. A definite "will do."
LaDue & Crew said…
I just started reading his blog and love it. This is an interesting combination of flavors... I love figs!
Dewi said…
I think I am going to buy that book. I am convinced Stacey! The tapenade looks delicious.
forget the book give me some of this tapenade...
Jamie said…
This tapenade sounds and looks amazing and so delicious! What an unusual and interesting combination for a tapenade. If the book is filled with recipes like this one, it is as much a must as this tapenade is!
Pam said…
Mmm. It looks fantastic! I've never thought to use figs in a tapenade - great idea.
noble pig said…
Oh my goodness this sounds delicious Stacy. I love olives so this is right up my alley.
Debbie said…
Figs are my favorite fruit. This sounds wonderful. I've never made anything like this - delicious!
Dana said…
You sealed the deal for me. I have to go buy that book.
I love tampenade of all varieties, but I have yet to see one like this!

It would be great to make for a party!

Thanks for posting the recipe, I hope you do make it to Paris!
Anonymous said…
I love this flavor combination - sweet and salty. My brother just left for Paris today, so jealous.
Randi Lynne said…
These are causing my mouth to water. I'll have to ship you a box of Arkansas figs this summer. Maybe then you could ship some of these back to me!
lisa is cooking said…
And, anchovies too? Interesting. Sounds like a great combination of flavors!
Girl, you are fig crazy! I love it. And I would have never thought of the raisin bread - nice touch!
I love "make ahead" and, you are right - most tapanade gets better with time. The sweet and savory idea here has got my mouth watering.
SarahB said…
just had some tapenade at the 'inoteca at 24th street. yours looks better! But they did have great wines...
Hello my figgy friend, this is so you! I do love the raisen toast served with this, great combo! I'm a little curious about the anchovies though.Probably because I'm not such a fan, ok I said it. I don't like anchovies!!
Kim said…
I'm glad to hear you liked the book. I've been wanting to buy it but I haven't found it locally. I'm thinking of ordering online. The tapenade looks great.
kat said…
Oh my gosh what a wonderful sounding spread! I'm imagining it with some goat cheese!
This fig and olive tapenade sounds marvelous. I have to have that cookbook, but I hardly see a cookbook that I don't want. I agree with Kat - would be good with goat cheese.
Lori Lynn said…
Oh gee, I just missed him. I gotta read that book.
Giff said…
was thinking about getting the book - now it's a definite
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