We discovered this combination of flavors a couple weeks ago and have since devoured two large batches of it. Salty olives. Sweet figs. Creamy cheese. The garlic. The garlic. Just writing the word garlic makes my mouth water. A special thank you to the cayenne for a subtly spicy finish. I am in love, I tell you.
We've found the best results when using fresh herbs and chilling the olive mixture overnight or at least for a few hours to allow the flavors mingle a little.
French Olive Fig Tapenade with Cheese
Prep time: 20 minutes (also allow to chill for a few hours- overnight)
1 cup dried figs or 1 pint fresh figs, chopped
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup white wine
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon powdered cayenne pepper
2/3 rounded cup kalamata olives, chopped
3 small cloves garlic, seeded and minced
Celtic sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup walnut pieces
8 oz. feta or cream cheese (we suggest feta)
- Bring figs, water, wine, rosemary, and thyme to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and add all remaining ingredients but the walnuts and cheese. Stir well. Cover and chill anywhere from 3 hours to overnight.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. On stoneware (preferred) or a baking sheet, bake walnuts for 10 minutes or until slightly browned. Set aside.
- Before serving, place cheese on platter. If using cream cheese, squish it down to about a 1/2 inch thick circle. If using feta, crumble it and loosely bunch it together to about the same size.
- Combine walnuts and olive mixture. Spoon it over the cheese and serve with crackers, French bread, and/or or vegetable slices.
Squishing the cream cheese.
Not too worried about a perfect circle.