← Back to Search Results
European, French, Provence
Fig Tapenade

Photo by: Joseph DeLeo
Comments: 0


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.

Yield: Makes 2 cups, which will serve 8 to 10


  • 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


1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Transfer the tapenade to a serving bowl and serve with the toast points or bread.


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

© 2003, 2010 Steven Raichlen

Nutritional Information

162 Calories; 2g Protein; 6.6g Fat; 0.9g Saturated Fat; 25g Carbohydrate; 588mg Sodium; 2mg Cholesterol


Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

west-coast-cooking West Coast Cooking
by Greg Atkinson
new-american-table New American Table
by Marcus Samuelsson
rice Rice
by Bonnie Tandy Leblang, Joanne Lamb Hayes
salmon-a-cookbook Salmon: A Cookbook
by Diane Morgan
the-deen-bros-take-it-easy-quick-and-affordable-meals-the-whole-family-will-love The Deen Bros. Take It Easy...
by Bobby Deen, Jamie Deen
martin-yans-china Martin Yan's China
by Martin Yan
urban-italian-simple-recipes-and-true-stories-from-a-life-in-food Urban Italian: Simple Recip...
by Andrew Carmellini
david-burkes-new-american-classics David Burke's New American ...
by David Burke, Judith Choate
the-provence-cookbook The Provence Cookbook
by Patricia Wells
lidias-italy Lidia's Italy
by Lidia Bastianich
the-country-cooking-of-ireland The Country Cooking of Ireland
by Colman Andrews
nancy-silvertons-sandwich-book Nancy Silverton's Sandwich ...
by Nancy Silverton
spice Spice
by Ana Sortun
fresh-from-the-market Fresh from the Market
by Laurent Tourondel
nigella-express Nigella Express
by Nigella Lawson
Already a member? Sign in here

Sign up to Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here

Sign in to Cookstr

Keep me logged in
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?