Makes about 1 ½ cups.
I live for fig season. But when fresh figs aren’t handy, I don’t let that stop me from getting my fill of these pleasant little flavor bombs. Try this on a cracker with faux cheese, on a hummus sandwich, or, if you’re a real maverick, ladled over nice cream.
1 cup chopped dried figs
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a small saucepan, combine the figs and water over medium heat. Bring it to a boil and cook until the figs are tender and most of the liquid is gone.
- Crunch up the rosemary and thyme in a mortar and pestle. You don’t want big hunks of rosemary in there. (A coffee mill would do, too, but it’s more brutal than a mortar and pestle, so go lightly.)
- Take the figs off the heat and add in the oil, vinegar, rosemary, thyme, olives, and garlic. Mix well. (If you’re nervous about raw garlic, don’t be. It gets all mixed in with everything else in a lovely way. But if you’re really nervous, go ahead and roast that little clove in the oven for 20 minutes or so.)
- Meanwhile, put the walnuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until just fragrant and starting to change color.
- Taste the fig and olive mixture for seasoning, and add salt and pepper to please your palate. Add in the walnuts, which will make a wonderful hissing and crackling noise because they’re hot.
Refrigerate in an air-tight container for four hours or overnight. It gets better after a day or two, but I can never wait that long.