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DRIED FIG AND BLACK OLIVE SPREAD
8 oz. Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Figs, stems trimmed, quartered
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
Crostini, for serving
2 to 4 ounces crumbled feta or blue cheese, optional
Combine the figs and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Heat to a boil. Cook, covered, over low heat until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly. Combine the figs, olives, fennel seeds (crushed with a mortar and pestle or the side of a heavy knife), garlic, orange zest, and black pepper in a food processor. Process until pureed, stopping to scrape the sides of the container down once or twice. With the motor running, slowly add the California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil. Transfer the mixture to a container or bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, place the spread in a small bowl with a butter knife, and surround it with crostini. Alternatively, spread it on the crostini and serve plain or with a little crumbled cheese on top.