This velvety fig and olive tapenade makes an easy and elegant appetizer for a party or a date night in! You can pre-assemble it with cream cheese and walnuts on crostini or serve it spooned over cheese for guests to spread themselves.

Fig and Olive Tapenade with Walnuts

Course: Appetizer
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
This velvety fig and olive tapenade makes an easy and elegant appetizer for a party or a date night in! You can pre-assemble it with cream cheese and walnuts on crostini or serve it spooned over cheese for guests to spread themselves.
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • 2 loaves French bread
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 8 oz cream cheese or goat cheese

Instructions

  • Combine figs and water in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until figs are soft and liquid is reduced, thick, and syrupy, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • In a medium bowl, combine fig mixture, olive oil, vinegar, rosemary, thyme, cayenne pepper, olives, and garlic. Mix well, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Set cheese out to soften. Slice bread diagonally into half-inch slices. Arrange on a rimmed baking pan, brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake bread for 8-12 minutes or until toasty. 
  • To assemble crostini: Spread bread with cheese, top with tapenade, and sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Garnish with fresh rosemary.
  • To serve cheese-ball style: Shape cheese into a round. Top with tapenade and sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Garnish with fresh rosemary. Serve bread on the side so people can assemble their own.

Notes

You can also serve this cheese-ball style with crackers on the side instead of bread for an even easier appetizer.
For a finer texture, pulse the finished tapenade in a food processor until it reaches your desired consistency.