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This spiced black olive-fig spread can be used as a spread for sandwiches or on crostini, or to coat baked fish, chicken, or lamb. Makes about 2 1/2 cups


  • 3/4 cup dry-cured pitted black olives, such as Kalamata
  • 6 dried figs
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or butter, divided
  • 1 (2-ounce) tin anchovies in oil
  • 4 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 generous pinch of crushed red chile flakes

Soak the olives and figs in hot water for 10 minutes and then drain, reserving the liquid for another use, such as adding to pasta cooking water. Place the olives and figs in a food processor with the garlic, fennel, almonds, 1/4 cup of the olive oil, anchovies with their oil, thyme leaves, orange and lemon zest and juice, and chile flakes. Pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil. Serve at room temperature as a spread for sandwiches or on crostini, or use as a crust for baked fish, chicken, or lamb.