Tapenade — no, it isn’t a type of dancing.

Popular in Mediterranean cooking, this versatile spread is a typically made with olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil. Tapenades can be used to spice up everyday sandwiches, can be paired with crackers for an easy appetizer or used like a pesto.

While at the 2012 Relish Cooking Show in San Angelo, Chef Steven Petusevsky showcased a version of tapenade that paired olives with figs and artichoke hearts for a flavor-packed spread.


California ripe Olive and Fig Tapenade

Makes 3 ½ cups

½ cup halved dried figs

1 cup water

2 garlic gloves, peeled

1 cup whole pitted California Ripe Olives, drained

½ cup artichoke hearts, drained

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon citrus zest, optional

1 teaspoon fresh herbs (thyme, oregano, cilantro, tarragon or rosemary), optional

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the figs and water for four minutes on high, or until the water is near boiling. Let the water cool at room temperature. Reserve two tablespoons of the soaking liquid and drain off the rest.

In a food processor, combine the figs and reserved liquid with the next seven ingredients. Add the lemon and fresh herbs if desired. Process until smooth, or if desired leave it a little chunky. While the food processor is still going, drizzle in the olive oil.

Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.