Eating al fresco seems, somehow, to demand 'picky' bits of food; things to leave on the table and graze at until the sun goes down. This is one of those wonderful things that is impressively easy to make, but which feels like a real treat. The facts that all the ingredients are readily available in my storecupboard and that the finished product freezes beautifully only adds to its appeal; I need never be far from a helping of this! This is also popular with children, probably because of its natural sweetness; but then saying that, as my children fall on most foods as though ravening beasts, they may not be the best example to present here...
Tapenade with Figs
250g dried figs
3 cloves garlic, peeled
250g pitted black olives in brine, drained
1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
2 tsp anchovy paste
2 tbsp olive oil
Put the figs and the garlic cloves in a small saucepan and just cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook fro about 10 minutes, until the figs are really soft. Drain, reserving the liquid. Put the figs, garlic and all the other ingredients in the blender and pureé, adding some of the reserved cooking liquid to slacken the mixture as you need to. Chill until needed, freeze in portions or just eat it straightaway!
While wonderful on its own on slices of crusty bread, whether toasted or not, this is completely divine with salty cheese or a plate of charcuterie. Also consider adding it to a chicken sandwich (dee-lish).This forms a regular part of my lunch in one way or another and I never get tired of it, I hope you don't either.