Tapenade—the olive, caper, and anchovy spread—is one of the classic hors d’oeuvres of Provence. Unfortunately for the health-conscious, its two main ingredients, olives and olive oil, are loaded with fat. I got an idea for a reduced-fat tapenade in Sarah Leah Chase’s charming book The Bicycling Through Provence Cookbook, which features a recipe for olive-and-fig tapenade. I’ve increased the proportion of figs to olives and replaced most of the olive oil with vegetable stock.
Pumpernickel Toast Point
½ package thinly sliced cocktail-type mini-loaves of pumpernickel bread (22 slices)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or spray oil
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut each pumpernickel slice on the diagonal and lightly brush each slice with oil on both sides or spray with spray oil.
2. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet and bake until crisp, 10 to 15 minutes per side. Transfer the toast points to a cooling rack.
Makes 44 toast points
95 Calories Per Serving; 3g Protein; 1.8g Fat; 0.3g Saturated Fat; 18g Carbohydrate; 193mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol
Makes2 cups, which will serve 8 to 10
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
OccasionBuffet, Cocktail Party
Recipe Courseantipasto/mezze, hors d'oeuvre
Dietary Considerationantipasto/mezze, hors d'oeuvre
Taste and Textureherby, salty, sweet
Type of DishCondiments, dip/spread
- 2 cups dried black mission figs (about 10 ounces)
- ½ cup cognac
- 2 cups vegetable stock, chicken stock, or water
- 2/3 cup pitted oil- or brine-cured olives, such as kalamata
- 4 anchovy fillets, rinsed in warm water and patted dry
- ¼ cup drained capers
- 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Toast points (see Notes) or slices of bread for serving
Stem and cut the figs crosswise into ¼-inch slices. Put them in a saucepan with the cognac and stock. Gently simmer 10 minutes, or until the figs are soft. Meanwhile, pit the olives.
Transfer the figs with a slotted spoon to a food processor, reserving the poaching liquid. Add the olives, anchovies, and capers, and process to a smooth paste. Add the mustard, lemon juice, and oil, and process to combine. With the motor running, add enough fig-poaching liquid (½, to 1 cup) to obtain a soft, spreadable puree. Correct the seasoning with salt, pepper, and lemon juice: the tapenade should be highly seasoned.
Transfer the tapenade to a serving bowl and serve with the toast points or bread.
2003, 2010 Steven Raichlen