real life test kitchen: fig & honey jam + fig & kalamata tapenade

figs 2 ways
Fresh fig season may still be happening where you live, but it’s just about over up here, sadly. I chose to make the most of this season’s bounty by preserving it: both in a sweet honey and fig jam and a savory fig and kalamata olive tapenade. Both are *incredibly* simple and versatile — serve the fig jam on top of oatmeal for breakfast, or slather it on flatbreads topped with crumbled gorgonzola for a quick appetizer. The tapenade loves creamy goat cheese, crudites, and long walks on the beach. I like to serve them both on a holiday cheese plate to give some interesting contrast to just about any fromage you can find. Can’t find fresh figs anymore? Well, fear not: either recipe works great year-round with dried figs (use black mission for a dark, rich color) and would make a quick and fabulous addition to your holiday recipe arsenal! –Megan B. Click for figs, two ways!

Fig & Honey Jam
Adapted from a recipe by Mark Bittman, from the New York Times

1 pound figs (or 1 cup dried, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes), stemmed and chopped
1/4 cup honey, or to taste
juice of one lemon

Combine ingredients in a small-to-medium saucepan; fruit should be at a depth of a couple of inches. Bring to a boil over medium heat. (You will have to add a 1/4 c of water to the dried figs, but hold off on all of it until you see how much of their own liquid they produce.)Adjust heat so mixture bubbles steadily. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is liquid but thick. Cool and refrigerate mixture; it will thicken as it cools. Store refrigerated for up to a week, or freeze for up to three months.

Fig and Kalamata Tapenade
1 pound of fresh figs (or 1 cup dried, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes), chopped finely
2/3 c pitted kalamata olives, chopped finely
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tbs olive oil
black pepper

In a small mixing bowl, combine chopped figs, olives, and garlic. Stir in vinegar and olive oil and stir to form a chunky paste. Season with pepper (and salt if needed). Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

From our partners

I don’t think we even have a fig season here, I’ve only been able to get two little pints of them and they were not great. Jealous!


heaven on a plate.