This is an easy gourmet appetizer. I often add some chopped green olives to the olive mixture and a little more balsamic. Goat cheese may also be used in place of the cream
- 1 cup chopped dried figs
- ½ cup water
- ⅔ cup chopped kalamata olives
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
- Combine figs and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, and liquid has reduced.
- Remove from heat, and stir in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, thyme, and cayenne.
- Add olives and garlic, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight to allow flavors to blend. Unwrap the cream cheese block, and place on a serving platter. Spoon the tapenade over the cheese, and sprinkle the top with walnuts. Serve with slices of French bread or crackers.
- To toast walnuts: Preheat oven to 350 °F. Place the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant.