Raisin and Walnut Tapenade with Goat Cheese

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1 cup Sunsweet Jumbo Red Raisins

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted

1/3 cup pitted brine-cured black olives, such as Kalamata

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon drained capers, chopped

1/4 teaspoons dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4-6 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Crackers, crostini


Place raisins in a small bowl and cover with boiling water; cover and let stand for about 5 minutes, until raisins are plump.

Drain raisins and place in bowl of food processor (or blender container) with walnuts, olives, oil, vinegar, capers, thyme and pepper. Pulse or blend several times just until mixture is coarsely chopped.

Press tapenade into a small (1-2 cup) bowl, unmold onto the middle of a small serving platter. Scatter crumbled goat cheese on top and around the tapenade.

Serve with assorted crackers or crostini.

*To toast walnuts, place in a dry skillet over medium heat. Stir often, for just a few minutes, until nuts smell lightly toasted; remove immediately from skillet and cool.
Makes about 1 1/4 cups; serves 6-8