Fig and Olive Tapenade with Pine Nut and Thyme-Coated Goat Cheese

It doesn’t involve any baking, and I don’t think it can be considered as a dessert. But the whole combo is so good I’d readily take a pass on any pastry and have more of this instead.
The goat cheese I used was a mild unripened cheese with added figs as well (quite sweet but nice). I customized it a bit by coating the cheese with finely chopped toasted pine nuts and thyme. Freshly baked (better yet – homemade) bread is a must here.

Makes about 2 cups


  • 6 oz dried figs, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup finely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp capers, drained and chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Scant 1 cup lightly toasted pine nuts, divided
  • 2 6-oz logs soft fresh goat cheese
  • Fresh Artisan bread (good quality baguette will do) for serving


Combine the figs and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook the figs until the liquid evaporates and the figs are soft. Cool slightly, then transfer the mixture to the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times until the figs are finely chopped. Don’t puree. Transfer to a bowl. Add the olives, oil, vinegar, capers, and 1 tbsp of thyme. Season the tapenade with salt and freshly ground pepper. It’s even better to make the tapenade a couple of days in advance. Cover the bowl and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature. Right before serving, stir a scant ½ cup of toasted pine nuts into the tapenade.

Finely chop the remaining pine nuts. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of chopped thyme. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish. Roll the goat cheese logs in this mixture, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until serving time. Bring to room temperature about 30 minutes before serving to soften and make it easier to spread.

Transfer the tapenade into a serving bowl and place the bowl onto a large platter or bread cutting board. Pile the sliced bread nearby. Unwrap the cheese and place on the same platter. Don’t bother to preslice the cheese (it can’t be done neatly); instead, offer a spreader for applying the cheese on the bread. Spread the cheese on the baguette slice, top with the tapenade and enjoy (it’s very much enjoyable).

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18 Responses to “Fig and Olive Tapenade with Pine Nut and Thyme-Coated Goat Cheese”

  1. Mmm, this looks totally delicious! I love goat cheese, and your “crust” looks divine. What a creative recipe!

  2. Woww! nice idea… I love all these flavours. Sure I’ll try your recipe. Thank you…

  3. Wonderful! Both creation look mouthwatering!



  4. Another great recipe to remind that summer is just ’round the corner!
    Brava, this is the kind of food I love over all :D

  5. Gorgeous!!!! I’d eat that for dessert! :)

  6. Lovely. The goat cheese and bread combo sounds like a wonderful appetizer.

  7. I love pine nuts.. and this goat cheese coated with pine nuts and thyme sounds wonderful!

  8. Lovely and delicious combination of sweet and savoury!

  9. What a lovely decadent snack!

  10. Thank you so much for your kind comments, guys!

  11. hmmm… the title alone makes my mouth water!

  12. I really like the combination of flavors…great for appetizer.

  13. Aran, Juliana, thank you!

  14. Looks delicious. I love olives and I love goat cheese. Both are great snacks. Thanks for sharing, Vera!!

  15. All flavours I love, this makes my mouth water badly!

  16. Hanaa, Rita, thank you very much!

  17. I really love goat cheese desserts, their are awesome. If I have guests, I just make goat cheese deserts and they love it. Are there any other good uses for goat cheese?

  18. This is delicious. I have made it about five times, and it’s disappears every time. I love figs and pine nuts. I recommend this recipe highly.

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