"I have made this numerous times, always with great reviews, as well as requests to share the recipe.''
Fig and walnut tapenade with goat cheese
1 cup chopped, stemmed, dried Calimyrna figs
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon drained capers, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
2 (5.5 ounce) logs soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet), each cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1/4 cup toasted walnut halves
Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)
Assorted breads and/or crackers
In a heavy, medium saucepan, combine the figs and water; cook over medium-high heat until liquid evaporates and figs are soft, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl; mix in the olives, oil, vinegar, capers and chopped thyme. Season tapenade to taste with salt and pepper.
At this point, the recipe can be completed or covered and refrigerated 3 days ahead. If refrigerated, bring to room temperature before completing and serving.
Arrange overlapping cheese rounds in a circle in the center of a medium platter. Stir the chopped walnuts into the tapenade and spoon into the center of the cheese circle. Garnish with walnut halves and thyme sprigs, if desired. Serve with the assorted breads and/or crackers.
Makes 20 servings.
Note: This recipe would also be good with toasted pine nuts in place of walnuts. If there's any leftover tapenade, serve it with chicken, pork or lamb.
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