Cold weather food for those long nights of winter, Classic Beef Stew & Dumplings is…
Brandied figs, they became an addiction last fall; sweet, juicy, boozy. We’ve played with them in a vinaigrette, against foie gras, in a roasted sweet potato treat and now we give you Brandied Fig Tapenade. Salty and sweet, it’s the last in our series of condiments with great Canadian cheese.
Traditionally served with cream cheese, we’ve upped the ante just a souch and paired it with the Alpindon Kootenay Alpine Cheese from Creston, BC that was a part of our Wine & Cheese evening earlier this month. The fatty content of the milk, aged in an old world style, increases the crystals that develop throughout the body of the cheese, they explode with flavour in your mouth. Those sharp, tangy crystals against a the sweet, savory tapenade are a marriage of taste and texture.
Making Brandied Fig Tapenade takes no time at all, it’s just a quick zip through the food processor and ta-da – tapenade! However, there is a do-ahead component: it’s best to soak your figs in brandy overnight. Do a few extra, I like to keep a jar of them in the fridge (for ummm… emergencies) they last for ages, it’s the booze, it keeps them well preserved. I’m sure it does the same for me, or that’s what I tell myself. Pass the brandy.
“One for the dish, one for the cook!” ~ Julia Child
Brandied Fig Tapenade Recipe
Prep time: 15 minutes
Yield: about 2 cups
1 cup chopped dried figs
1/4 cup brandy
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1. Make ahead: Place figs in a seal-able jar and cover with brandy. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. This will rehydrate the figs and soak up much of the brandy.
2. Place rehydrated figs and 2 tablespoons of the remaining brandy in a food processor, along with olive oil, rosemary and thyme. Add olives, walnuts and garlic, and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add more bandy, if needed, until tapenade holds together in a loose paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover, and refrigerate to allow flavors to blend. Keeps for about two weeks, refrigerated.
Serve with slices of French bread, grilled flat bread or your favorite artisan crisps. Also a sharp, tasty spread for grilled vegetable wraps, and as a foil against a great cheese.
Now, what would Julia do with the leftover brandy?