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Fig & Olive Tapenade or Sundried Tomato Tapenade – The Perfect Home-Made Christmas Gift

15/11/2013 | By

Fig & Olive Tapenade & Tomato Tapenade

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I start to get just a little twitchy at this time of year. Now that the children are older the endless list of school Christmas functions to attend is no longer an issue and this year I have only one set of teachers to buy gifts for. The furtive scurrying about trying to buy, wrap and hide the children’s gifts seems easier too. While the kids are more likely to be around the house, they are buried deep in their caves most of the time and couldn’t give a fig about my comings and goings – unless, of course, they need a lift somewhere. Or food. Or cash. Sigh.

Still, I’m twitchy. We are going away on a big, long family trip this Christmas and there is much to organise around the farm. We are having a house-sitter come to stay and care for the dogs, chooks and garden. She seems like such a nice lady and I hope she won’t judge me on my domestic standards, but every time I think of her looking into the disaster that is my pantry I feel slightly panicky – I never let anyone in there normally. So, besides sorting out the Christmas list, organising our Christmas drinks party and making sure I’ve covered every possible angle of our holiday packing and itinerary I now have to clean out the pantry. 😐

Tapenades - fFg & Olive or Sundried Tomato

I won’t be getting into my normal baking binge this year, but I still love giving those I care about something they can enjoy over the holiday season and that I’ve made myself. I know I’m not the only one who is time-poor at this time of year so I thought I’d share these two versions of an ancient treat – tapenade. Tapenade has been around on Italian tables for thousands of years and it’s versatility makes it pretty popular everywhere. If you have a food processor, these two can be whipped up in less than 5 minutes and make a great Christmas gift once placed in pretty jars and tizzied up with tinsel. The sundried tomato tapenade can be used in pasta, as a base on pizza, on bruschettas or mixed with sour cream or cream cheese as a dip. The olive and fig one is sublime and my best recommendation for serving that is to just give everyone a spoon. Of course, if you want to go all proper you could also put some goats curd on a baguette and top it with the fig and olive, too.

Fig & Olive Tapenade or Sundried Tomato Tapenade - The Perfect Home-Made Christmas Gift

The Fig & Olive Tapenade is utterly delicious - I could eat it with a spoon. The Sundried Tomato one is great too and enormously versatile - try it with pasta, as a pizza base or mixed with sour cream as a dip. I used soft semi-dried figs. If you use the small dried figs you will need to soak them to soften first.
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Author: Amanda McInerney of www.lambsearsandhoney.com


Fig & Olive

  • 200 gms soft semi-dried figs, or soaked dried figs
  • 200 gms pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary

Sundried Tomato

  • 150 gms sundried tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh basil
  • 3 anchovies
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar


Fig & Olive

  • Place figs in processor and pulse once or twice until roughly chopped.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and whizz until finely minced and well combined. If you prefer the tapenade to be looser, add another Tbs of olive oil.

Sundried Tomato

  • Place all ingredients in processor and whizz until finely minced and well combined.
  • Top with extra oil and store the tapenades in clean, sterilised jars in the fridge.

The ©KitchenAid processor was kindly supplied by KitchenAid Australia.


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  1. Mel @ The cook's notebook

    I always give edible Christmas gifts – these sound amazing. Not sure if they will make it to the gift stage though… 🙂

  2. Kate

    Having just come home from the land of figs, this dish really inspires me and would be delicious on our Xmas table.

  3. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    Oh this post made me laugh. I paid someone this week to clean out my pantry, wash all the shelves, toss out anything past its use-by date and put the stuff back.

    Those were my instructions. Well… you’ve met me in person. You’d know that I’m so short that anything I use has to be on the lower shelves. AT THE CEILING, she put the sugar, flour, baking powder, honey, mustard, ketchup. Next lower shelf she put the oils and vinegars.

    To make dinner that night I needed a step stool for everything I went for. Bah!

    I think I’d have been better off leaving it untidy. 🙂

    I make a few edible Christmas gifts but most of my gifts head to the states and sending homemade food anywhere outside the country is always iffy.

  4. Judy

    That would have to be the easiest homemade Christmas gift ever Amanda, thank you for the recipes.

    Have a great trip away with the family, nice to hear you are all going.

  5. Melanie

    Many thanks for the recipe, made the sundried tomato tapenade for tea tonight with Udder Delights Chèvre – delish, served with homegrown, homemade broccoli soup 🙂

  6. Hotly Spiced

    I know what you mean about getting twitchy! At this time of year I feel like I’m on high-alert. I love the look of your tapenade. It sounds like you’re going to have a very special Christmas with your family xx

  7. InTolerant Chef

    I’m loving the sound of that fig tapenade Amanda! I hope you have a very wonderful family holiday with none of the usual family stress that goes with it X

  8. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    That sounds so full of flavour and I love strong flavours like olive and sun dried tomatoes. The addition of fig would make it lovely!

  9. celia

    Wonderful! I adore tapenades! We make a figgy one too, although ours adds mint rather than rosemary. I’d love to find a jar of something so delicious under the tree on Christmas day! 🙂

  10. Jamie

    We love tapenades of all sorts and yours sound especially delicious – and actually perfect for holiday drinks with friends or as gifts. I am truly intrigued by the fig & olive tapenade. How about on slices of baguette with a thin slice of foie gras and then the tapenade? mmmm

    Now that our boys are bigger (adults) they hang around us asking what we are going to get them for Hanukkah and Christmas….