Fig and Olive Tapenade with Walnuts and Goat Cheese

Fig and Olive Tapenade with Walnuts and Goat Cheese

Fig and Olive Tapenade with Walnuts and Goat Cheese


I have a confession to make…I only just learned that I might like olives.  I know, most of you are groaning and wondering, “What?  How can she not be sure if she likes olives?” Well, growing up, I never touched one – not even on the finest of pizzas or pastas. I just did not like the taste or the texture!  In my twenties, I spent several months in Greece, the land of olives, rolling those salty, black orbs off my plate towards my travelling companions. In the kitchen, I have routinely avoided recipes that include olives. Well, I am told that our tastes change as we get older and I now think this is true, because here is one of my favourite recipes…and it focuses on olives…imagine that! In this tasty appetizer,  I love the contrast of the creamy sweetness of the figs and the earthy saltiness of the olives. The fresh thyme lends a lovely floral note.  A dab of this tapenade and a thin slice of goat cheese on some fresh, soft baguette and I’m in heaven! I hope you like this recipe too.  I found it in a Bon Appétit magazine a number of years ago and have tweaked it to my own taste.


1 cup chopped, stemmed, dried Calimyrna figs

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup chopped, pitted Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon drained capers

2 teaspoons chopped, fresh thyme

2 5.5-ounce logs goat cheese

½ cup chopped, toasted walnuts

¼ cup toasted walnut halves

Fresh thyme sprigs

Fresh baguette


Combine chopped figs and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until liquid evaporates and figs are soft, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a medium bowl.

Mix in olives, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, capers and chopped thyme.

With a hand-held blender, lightly blend the ingredients.  There should still be visible pieces of of fig, olives, and a few capers. At this point the tapenade can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Just before serving, stir in the walnut pieces.

To serve, simply place the tapenade on a platter and top with the walnut halves. Cut rounds of goat cheese and place next to the tapenade. Garnish with sprigs of fresh thyme if desired.  Serve with baguette.  Watch your guests gobble this up in a heartbeat!

Fig and Olive Tapenade with Walnuts and Goat Cheese

Fig and Olive Tapenade with Walnuts and Goat Cheese

Fig and Olive Tapenade with Walnuts and Goat Cheese

Fig and Olive Tapenade with Walnuts and Goat Cheese

16 Responses to “Fig and Olive Tapenade with Walnuts and Goat Cheese”

  1. gypsymoonsilverspoon

    Lol, the exact same story with me, I only just tried them last year. So many lacking olive years to catch up on! Really beautiful photos, enjoy your continuing olive journeys!

  2. chefjulianna

    Too funny! And there are so many awesome olive recipes to catch up on, now that we are part of the blogosphere. Glad you like the pics! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

  3. chefjulianna

    Hey there ASander! I’m glad you think it looks yummy and I’m really glad you took the time to make a comment. This would be perfect for a girls’ get-together…which I think we should have before too long, no?

    • chefjulianna

      Hey there! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment on the recipe! I don’t think you will be disappointed! Glad that you tweeted it too! You’re right, this is all about sharing and enjoying the wealth of recipes we now have at our fingertips! Bon Appétit!

  4. Liz

    What a lovely presentation of the food and lovely photos. Thanks for sharing this great recipe. I love it. Best wishes.

    • chefjulianna

      Me too, I really love figs and olive together. And it is so good – my friends always cheer when I make this for a party. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, by the way, and for commenting. I really appreciate it! 🙂

  5. Sandhya

    I love olive tapenade with figs. It will be hard to get me away from that table when this is served:)


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