Spread: Olive Tapenade

posted by lake monster 05-28-103 5:13 PM

Olive Tapenade

1 cup chopped dates
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 (5-1/2 –ounce) logs soft fresh goat cheese, each cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1/2 cup toasted walnut halves

Combine chopped dates and 1/3 cup water in heavy medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until liquid evaporates and dates are soft, about 5 minutes. 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 up to 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate, but bring to room temperature along with cheese before serving.

Arrange cheese pieces in circle on serving platter with room for tapenade in center. Stir chopped walnuts into tapenade; spoon into center of cheese circle. Arrange crackers and/or bread and garnish with walnut halves.

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