Fig and Prosciutto Tapenade

FigProsciuttoTapenadeVertbfLOI like figs.

I just have no idea what to do with a fresh one; do I peel and quarter it and then chomp away with a good hunk of cheese and a nice glass of port? Or maybe I should spoon the pulp (is that the right term?) out with a spoon? In short, I have no idea how to wrangle the suckers or what to do with ‘em once they’ve been well and truly wrangled; and that is why I was so happy to find this recipe on a site my friend Jenny recommended – AndyFood, a culinary studio – using dried figs. As an aside, AndyFood is not at all connected with BUZZYFOODS – it’s simply a case of great minds thinking alike and naming stuff similarly separately 😉

Anyway, AndyFood offered this recipe and I thought it’d make a nice appetizer for our game night group (I was correct). It’s a cinch to put together and works as well spread on crackers as it does on corn chips (one of our friends has a gluten issue). I think it might also be tasty spread over some cream cheese, as people will do (think chutney); or even in a sammich – hmmm: fig tapenade with some sprouts, maybe some sliced turkey and a dab of mayonnaise on sourdough or maybe on Honey French Bread? Quite possible… here’s the deal:

•2 tbsp olive oil
•1/4 cup finely minced onion – or 1 shallot (I recommend the shallot)
•2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
•2 tbsp granulated sugar
•1/4 cup water
•1/2 cup finely chopped dried figs
•3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped

Heat oil in a small covered skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and stir frequently for 2-3 minutes.

Mix together vinegar, sugar and water. Add to the pan with the chopped figs and stir to combine. Cover and cook until figs are very soft, about 5 minutes.

Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid is gone and the mixture is syrupy. Add the proscuitto and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Andy Broder (the ANDY in AndyFood) didn’t suggest what to do with the tapenade once it’s made – I stashed mine in the fridge overnight, then brought it back to room temperature and offered it with a spoon to have on crackers and such, and it was a pretty big hit – sweet and salty and gooey and good all at once – you really should try this.

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