Fig Tapenade

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 affective 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’oeuvre for a dinner or cocktail party and goes nicely with my Paleo Walnut Crackers.

Fig Tapenade

Print Pin Recipe
Servings 16



  • 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
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 min
Total Time 6 mins
Tried this recipe?Mention @elanaspantry or tag #elanaspantry!

Although I have several different paleo cracker recipes in my repertoire, I created my Paleo Walnut Crackers to accompany this Fig Tapenade. They complement each other nicely.

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 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?


49 responses to “Fig Tapenade”

  1. This is a fantastic recipe. I’m a caterer and use it regularly. It’s a never-fail crowd pleaser for everyone, not just gluten free folks. I like to use these as a base for showcasing amazing artisan cheeses, usually Brie. I then top the cheese with raw honey and fleur de sel.

  2. Isn’t there another flour besides almond for all of these recipes? High in fat and doesn’t Gree with my gf husband.

  3. Just made a new batch with these changes to make use of what was in the pantry. Used marinated blac empeltre olives, and organic raisins. Delicious! I can see other possible variations too. I always seem to get jars of exotic olives in the back of the fridge; parties and sales, I suppose. I’m so happy to have this recipe to use them up.

    Now, can you help with the five jars of fancy mustard? ????

  4. Made these yesterday–INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS! Will be making for holiday parties for sure.
    I put a bit of chèvre on crackers first, then tapenade. Since I have to be very careful with sugars, I used only a half cup of dried figs, and half the honey–to my palate the tapenade was perfect. Sent half the batch, along with batch of your recipe for blueberry muffins, to my gf son in college.

    Thank you for such great recipes.

  5. Just tried these – they’re fantastic! I did tweak the recipe a bit. I ground the walnuts into a meal (the consistency of the almond flour) and added only 1 1/2 T. of oil, and I substituted rice bran oil. I also sprinkled ground organic rosemary on top. So delicious. The only change I would make next time is to use one teaspoon of salt instead of one and a half. Thanks Elana, you’re amazing!

  6. This tapenade is amazing – simple, easy and impressive. I added spring onions and truffle salt for a truly delectable (and addictive) tapenade. Thanks Elana!

  7. These crackers were DIVINE. I didn’t have walnuts so I used up some pistachios I had, plus I used melted butter instead of oil, added herbs etc. The dough was so easy to work with, but as I’m not good at rolling out squares I used a cookie cutter to make shapes. Thanks so much Elana for all your wonderful recipes.

  8. Hello,

    I LOVE your site and with this new (for me) diet I really look out for treats and snacks to fill cravings.

    Anyways, I have a question. After having had tried a few recipes with mixed results I’m wondering if the ‘flour’ I have is actually flour and not some meal hybrid. I bought it at Whole Foods in the bulk section and after reading your FAQ’s and the Almond Meal vs. Almond Flour Does It Matter? article I can say that it isn’t nearly as course as Bob Red Mill product but at the same time has dark flecks in it which could be skin pieces which isn’t what appeared in the flour picture.

    Everything I have baked so far has come out a little crumbly and more course then my baking experiences with wheat flour. From what I have described does this seem like the way almond flour is or am I using too course of a product?

    Again I greatly appreciate your recipes and how this new diet is making me feel!

    • Hi Nerissa,

      Thanks for your comment :-)

      I don’t really have any way of knowing what type of almond flour or almond meal you are using. However, as you read, I only use blanched almond flour in my recipes (not almond meal).

      I have tested a number of brands of blanched almond flour which yield great results; you can find more information on these various brands on my ingredients page, have you been there? It has loads of good info.

      Happy baking,

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Recipes » Condiments » Fig Tapenade