Fig, Olive and Goat Cheese Tapenade

January 23, 2009


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pc230039The LSATs make my head ache. They also make my stomach rumble and I' ve made lots of dishes that are just waiting to be wrung out of my spongy brain. After February 7 this blog pc230040will be a buzz again, but for now, here is something I must share: fig, olive and goat cheese tapenade. The recipe is super simple and brings together all of the best flavors—creamy cheese, pc230041sweet figs, salty olives and tangy capers. Candied walnuts add a necessary texture kick. Although the recipe I saw called for the goat pc240042cheese to be served in rounds below the tapenade, I decided to mix it in to make spreading easier. pc240047It was delightful and kept things a lot neater than they would have been otherwise. Next time I go to a friend' s house for dinner, I am bringing this with some crostini or thick, rosemary crackers. It' s a great bite any time of year.

Ingredients: pc240051

* 1 cup chopped figs, stems removed
* 1/3 cup water
* 1/3 cup chopped pitted briny olives
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
* 1 tablespoon drained capers, chopped
* 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
* 10 oz of crumbled goat cheese
* 1/2 cup chopped toasted, chopped very coarsely (in 1/4s if possible)
* 1/4 cup toasted walnut halves, same as above
* Fresh thyme sprigs
* Assorted crispy bread or crackers

pc240091Combine figs and 1/3 c water in a saucepan and simmer until figs are soft and plump and water evaporates…about 5- 7 minutes. * Transfer to a medium bowl and mix in olives, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, capers, and chopped thyme. * Season with salt and pepper. * Add cheese, and mix together well until completely blended. * Add remaining toasted walnuts just before serving. *

This can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in the fridge, though I recommend serving it at room temp so it spreads readily.

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