Celebrate Mediterranean Diet Month w/ Dried Fig & Black Olive Spread

May is Mediterranean diet month. We’re toasting our favorite cuisine with plenty of good, healthy dishes – like this dried fig and black olive spread. It combines two fabulous Mediterranean foods: olives and figs. Only we’re putting a California spin on this dish by using Golden State extra virgin olive oil and figs. (Click here to see the recipe.)

Marie Simmons, the award-winning cookbook author, created this spread, which combines dried figs, pitted Kalmata olives, crushed fennel seeds, fresh garlic, and grated orange zest. It all comes together with a good extra virgin olive oil. (Click here for an online coupon to receive a $1.25 savings on our oil at any store.)

Marie recommends serving this spread on crostini – say with a little crumbled feta … or blue cheese. Alternatively, she suggests: “Smear some into celery boats or red pepper wedges for a quick afternoon snack.” (Click here to see the recipe.)

The recipe comes courtesy of our friends Valley Fig Growers, a California grower-owned cooperative that’s North America’s largest marketer of dried figs. We’ve teamed to promote Mediterranean diet month, the 2009 brainchild of the food think tank Oldways and the Mediterranean Foods Alliance.

Mediterranean cuisine not only tastes good, but it’s good for you: vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seafood all cooked or served with good extra virgin olive oil.

It’s so good and healthful, in fact, that it got an official shout out from the United Nations. In November 2010, a UNESCO panel put the Mediterranean diet on its list of “intangible” world treasures.

So this Mother’s Day, do mom a culinary favor: Prepare some dried fig and black olive spread, serve it on crostini, pour a favorite libation, and propose a toast to mom – and then to Mediterranean cuisine!

Bon appétit,

Your friends at California Olive Ranch

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