Fig and Olive Tapenade

I have always had impeccable manners. I think the credit is owed more to my mother, than the fancy etiquette classes I was required to take in school. Most of the things we learned in class are useless for this day in age (such as how to create elaborate folded napkin designs for your dinner parties, and to flip a fork upside down on your plate to signal to a waiter you are finished eating.) Yep, if this were the 1950’s I would know exactly how to be an ideal housewife.  However, two things my mother taught me which still resonate to this day are:

  1. ALWAYS send a thank you note. Even for the most trivial item or gesture.
  2. Never show up to someone’s house empty handed (no matter how much they insist to “just bring yourselves”).

This past weekend we were invited to a dinner party. Rather than just take the obligatory bottle of wine, I decided to make one of my favorite appetizers…Fig and Olive Tapenade. This gourmet appetizer isn’t the prettiest to look at, but it is absolutely amazing over crackers. It’s very affordable, simple to make, and is pretty healthy. Loaded with fresh herbs, balsamic vinegar, figs, and olives. I get requests for this recipe all the time and since this is perfect for someone trying to Live Leaner, I thought I would share with all of you 🙂

It looks pricey (but is affordable) and looks decadent (but very healthy).


(photos by Doug Linn Photography)
  • 1 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

Olive, fig, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper mixture


1.)   Bring water and figs to boil

2.)   Cook until figs are tender and most of the water evaporated

3.)   Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients (except for the cream cheese)

4.)   Salt and pepper to taste

5.)   Marinate mixture in the refrigerator for 4 hours

6.)   Place an 8oz block of cream cheese on platter

7.)   Spoon and mold fig mixture over cream cheese

8.)   Serve with crackers

Even if you are a “picky” eater I encourage you to try it.  There is something about the salty olives and sweet figs together over cheese that is terrific!!!  Enjoy

Not so pretty to look at, but tastes AMAZING!!!


4 thoughts on “Fig and Olive Tapenade

  1. Pingback: Weekend Wandering | What I Loved This Week | Living Well Spending Less

  2. Pingback: Thrifty Thursday Link Party {Week 3} | Link Up Your Budget Friendly Blog Posts

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