Oh My Potluck!

Good recipes to share with friends.

Tapenade Out (With Figs and Olives)

Tapenade Out With Figs And Olives

Oscar weekend brings Oscar parties. What better way to celebrate than with a delicious Provençal dish. Okay, I know the Oscars have very little to do with France, but an amazing French movie called Amour has been nominated for “Best Picture” and “Best Foreign Language Film”, and the lovely French actress Emmanuelle Riva from the movie has been nominated for “Best Actress In A Leading Role” for her portrayal of Anne.

I was lucky enough to catch this movie playing in Calgary last weekend. It was amazing. The beauty of the story was punctuated by some bold cinematic choices and some wonderful actors. I was deeply touched by the story. It’s very real and human.


I suppose you could count Les Misérables as French. I was honestly surprised when the first song began in English. I really could have guessed it wasn’t going to be French by simply looking at the cast, but whatever. It’s a French play and the movie is done very well, albeit not in French.


So I haven’t seen Zero Dark ThirtyLife of Pi, or The Master yet. Besides some of the underdogs that are probably amazing but not playing in theatres, those are the ones I’d like to catch. I’d also like to see Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I’ve heard from people with similar ridiculous cult movie tastes that it’s pretty good. I’m deeply saddened that I missed it on its one week run in theatres. The trailer was a highlight of my year and I was so looking forward to a bucket of laughs … not that I can’t laugh in my home, but it’s better with other people. There should be a category in the Oscars so that movies like THAT can win. Well, maybe.


So onto this food business. I’ve been learning a bit about tapenade. Mostly that it is the Provençal word for caper. Capers are the bud of a cousin of the rose called the Flinders rose. I tell you this because if you ever find a tapenade recipe without capers don’t believe it; it is lying to you about being tapenade. Spit on it, because that’s what the French do. JUST kidding. I’m not kidding about spitting on it, though. Also, if you EVER contemplate making a dish without capers and calling it tapenade, spit on yourself and then call it something else, like tapenish, or fig and olive dip.

An alternate, un-blended tapenade

An alternate, un-blended tapenade

In celebration of the French, the Oscars, and spitting on things, enjoy my selection of French music or music by French people or music related to movies. They’re also great songs to play for guests as they arrive at your Oscar party where you will serve Tapenade. I’ve got you covered

Watch here or on youtube.

Tapenade Out (With Figs and Olives)

Good for small parties, about a dozen people, with other hors d’oeuvres and snacks.

  • 1 cup dried Mission figs, stemmed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 8 ounces (250 grams) cream cheese
  • About 2 dozen croustinis (or sliced french bread)
  1. In a heavy medium saucepan combine figs and water and place on medium-high heat until water evaporates.
  2. Place into a medium bowl and allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Add olives, oil, vinegar, capers and thyme to the figs. Stir to combine. You may choose to coarsely blend the mix together with a few pulses in an electric blender. I’ve tried both finely cut tapenade and blended and they both work great. Cover and store until ready to take to potluck, up to 3 days.
  3. Bring a serving plate to the potluck with the cream cheese, croustinis and tapenade stored separately. Arrange the tapenade over cream cheese that’s about 3/4 inches (2 centimeters) thick. Lay croustinis around the edge and watch it disappear.



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This entry was posted on February 22, 2013 by in Appetizer & Noms, Dip, Quick And Easy, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , .

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