Spices, ingredients and recipes are adventurous travelers. They may originate somewhere and then you would be surprised how far they can get. This is one of those wandering recipes: featuring figs, olives and capers, this recipe could be at home in Morocco, Sicily or Spain — or all three!

Easy and fast, this tapenade is wonderful served with manchego or a soft goat cheese on crostini. Or even over grilled chicken or fish.


1 cup chopped dried Calimyrna figs
1/3 cup water
½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon drained and rinsed capers, chopped
1 ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
salt and pepper


Combine figs and water in a heavy medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until liquid evaporates and figs are soft, about 7 minutes. Transfer to bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper.