Raisin Tapenade Cigarillos

This is a recipe I came across in California, when I went to the Central Valley during the harvesting of grapes for the raisin industry.


  • 12 thin slices fresh white bread
  • 4 oz / 110 g cream cheese, softened
  • melted butter or olive oil for brushing

Raisin Tapenade

  • 4 oz / 110 g black olives, pitted and finely chopped
  • 2 oz / 60 g seedless raisins, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp paprika mixed with ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 2 anchovy fillets


To make the tapenade, pound the olives and raisins to a paste with the rest of the ingredients, or blend all together in a food processor or blender.

Trim the crusts from the bread, and then slightly flatten the slices with a rolling pin. Cut each slice into two rectangles. Spread each with cream cheese and then with the tapenade. Roll up tightly lengthways. Brush the rolls with butter or oil, dip one end into the paprika mix, and place on a baking sheet, seam-side down. Bake the cigarillos in preheated oven at 200 °C / 400 °F / Mark 6 for 5–8 minutes, until crisp and brown.