Fig and Walnut Tapenade

I hope everyone had a good Memorial Day weekend with lots of good food.  Our Half-Thanksgiving celebration was a huge success.  I got to spend a day cooking up food in the kitchen so all in all, a good weekend for me (excluding a terribly bitter chocolate pie and an emergency grocery store run for dessert).

Our menu included fried turkey, stuffing, cornbread, broccoli salad, cranberry sauce.  All great but my favorite was this fig and olive tapenade.  This recipe is an example of mother knowing best.  My mom found this recipe which sounded okay, but I was not tempted.  She had it and liked it, so when I couldn’t come up with another dip for appetizers, I decided to settle for this tapenade.  So. Delicious.  I had to restrain myself from downing this dip so I would still have room for dinner.  But in the end, I finished the dip up (with some help from mom) as a late night snack.  I miss it already.

FIG AND WALNUT TAPENADE
Slightly Adapted from Bon Appetit
INGREDIENTS

9 ounces dried figs, stemmed and chopped
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives
1 1/2 tablespoons capers, chopped
1/4 teaspoon herbes de Provence
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

To Serve: Goat Cheese, Crackers

DIRECTIONS
In a medium skillet over medium heat, combine figs and water.  Cook for 5-7 minutes, until water has evaporated and figs are soft.  Remove from heat and cool slightly. In a large bowl combine figs, olives, capers, herbes de Provence, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.  Stir to mix.  Chill for at least 1 hour, preferrably overnight, to allow the flavors to meld.
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add walnuts and cook for 2-3 minutes, watching carefully, until toasted.  Mix walnuts into tapenade.  Serve on top of a cracker with goat cheese.
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