Fig and Walnut Tapenade with Goat Cheese
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  1. 1 cup chopped stemmed dried Calimyrna figs
  2. 1/3 cup water
  3. 1/3 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives
  4. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  6. 1 tablespoon drained capers, chopped
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  8. 2 5.5-ounce logs soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet), each cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  9. 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  10. 1/4 cup toasted walnut halves
  11. Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)
  12. Assorted breads and/or crackers
  1. 1. Combine chopped figs and 1/3 cup water in heavy medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until liquid evaporates and figs are soft, about 7 minutes.
  2. 2. 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 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
  3. 3. Arrange overlapping cheese rounds in circle in center of medium platter. Stir chopped walnuts into tapenade; spoon into center of cheese circle. Garnish with walnut halves and thyme sprigs, if desired. Serve with breads and/or crackers.
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