epicureaders

Fig and Walnut Tapenade with Goat Cheese

fig tapenade

1 cup chopped stemmed dried Calimyrna figs (or fresh)
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

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

Garnish:
1/4 cup toasted walnut halves
Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)
Assorted breads and/or crackers

Combine chopped figs and 1/3 cup water in heavy medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until liquid evaporates and figs are soft, about 7 minutes (I cooked them for about 30 mins to soften them. fresh figs might be better in this recipe). Transfer to medium bowl. Mix in olives, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, capers, and chopped thyme. Season tapenade to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

Arrange overlapping cheese rounds in circle in center of medium platter. Stir chopped walnuts into tapenade; spoon into center of cheese circle. Garnish with walnut halves and thyme sprigs, if desired. Serve with breads and/or crackers.

Serves: 8-12

Source: Epicurious.com, Bon Appétit, October 2001

Prepared by: Lena for the July 2008 meeting.