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Chefs’ Corner: Fig-Olive Tapenade Is Easy, Exceptional

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Lamb Sausage with Fig-Olive Tapenade at Mac and Ernie's Roadside Eatery.

The best recipes don’t have to be the complicated. Take this Fig-Olive Tapenade, which Naylene Dillingham-Stolzer serves at Mac and Ernie’s Roadside Eatery in Tarpley. The name says all you need to know about what’s in it. But what the title does not tell is you just how rich the flavor is that comes from combining the two ingredients.

At Mac and Ernie’s, Dillingham-Stolzer serves this tapenade with lamb sausage patties. If you don’t have any at hand, try pork sausage patties. Both meats love the touch of sweetness that comes from the dried figs. You might also want to try it on white fish.

The flavor was so good that I whipped up a batch the very next day and had it with pita chips.

You can dice all of figs and olives by hand, but this is where a food processor works wonders. Just be careful with the olives. I bought some that were advertised as “pitted,” yet more than half of them had pits in them. So you may want to slice the olives in half before throwing them into the food processor. You can also play around with the proportion of the ingredients until you get a blend that works best for you.

Dillingham-Stolzer is a favorite guest instructor at Central Market Cooking School and will be teaching a class in such easy, elegant fare at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 27. Call 210-368-8617 or click here for information.

Mac and Ernie’s Roadside Eatery is at 11804 FM 470, Tarpley. Call 830-562-3727 or click here for information.

Fig-Olive Tapenade

Fig-Olive Tapenade

1 cup dried Calimyrna figs, stems removed and quartered
1 cup Kalamata olives, pits removed

Places figs and olives in a food processor and pulse 9 or 10 times until incorporated but not a paste.

Let set at least 1 hour before serving.

Makes 2 cups tapenade or enough for 6-8 side servings.

From Naylene Dillingham-Stolzer/Mac and Ernie’s Roadside Eatery

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