Inspiration struck today. As did its friend creativity. The sun was bright for the third day in a row over here in Colorado and my faith in all things good returned. Whatever had a hold of me –seasonal affect disorder, Mercury in retrograde, who knows, who cares –it’s gone! I took a long slow walk and saw the last patches of melting snow, flowers popping up through mud and upon arriving home, I observed sap running down the maples in my front yard.
Spring, glorious spring. Even if it’s a taste, or just a tease, how it does brighten one’s outlook! In celebration of this beautiful weather I made a raw recipe that was unusual, yet delicious. I think this gluten-free fig and olive tapenade would make a fantastic hors d’eoeuvre for a dinner or cocktail party and goes nicely with these walnut crackers.
- Place figs in a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds, until well chopped
- Add water and pulse to create a paste
- Add olives and pulse until incorporated
- Add olive oil, vinegar and thyme; pulse again for 30 seconds until tapenade is smooth
- Serve over crackers
Although I have several different cracker flavors in my repertoire, I created these walnut crackers today to accompany the fig tapenade. They complement each other nicely.
- 3 cups blanched almond flour
- 1½ teaspoons celtic sea salt
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 2 eggs, whisked until frothy
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together almond flour, salt, walnuts, eggs and oil until well blended
- Separate dough into two halves
- Line two large (12 x 16) stainless steel baking sheets with parchment paper
- Place one half of the dough in the center of each lined sheet
- Cut another piece of parchment paper and place it over one of the balls of dough
- Roll dough out between the two pieces of parchment paper, until it is ⅛ inch thick and covers the entire baking sheet; remove top paper and repeat process with the other piece of dough
- Cut the dough with a knife or pizza cutter into 2 inch squares
- Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown
- Cool and serve
Makes 96 crackers
The lovely Anina, who I had the pleasure of meeting at the Valentine’s cooking class I held in February, gave me the idea for this recipe. She told me about it during the class and then emailed me the epicurious.com version, which includes goat cheese, stewing the figs and a couple of other steps that I omitted in my quest to keep things simple. Especially with the warm weather approaching, I wanted to make this complex, sweet-savory dish raw and light.
I hope you like it. Please write up a comment if you have other suggestions as to good “vehicles” for delivering the tapenade –i.e., what would you serve it on?