This is an easy gourmet appetizer. I've brought this to several parties and it is always a hit! 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 cheese. Serve with
INGREDIENTS (for 6 servings):
- 1 cup chopped dried figs
- 1/2 cup water
- 2/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 1 (8 ounce) 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 cream cheese block, and place on a serving platter. Spoon tapenade over cheese, and sprinkle with walnuts. Serve with slices of French bread or crackers.
To toast walnuts, heat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant.