Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, September 2003
Makes about 24 hors d’oeuvres, enough for 4 to 6 guests
2 Tbl butter
1 large shallot, peeled and finely diced
1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
4 oz dried Black Mission figs, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
3/4 cup Port
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
about 24 French bread crostini, from a half baguette
5 to 6 oz creamy goat cheese
3 fresh figs, sliced into thin wedges
about 24 small clusters of thyme leaves, for garnish
To make the fig compote: In a small sauce pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallot, season with a sprinkling of salt and pepper, then cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped thyme and bay leaf and cook 1 minute more.
Add the chopped figs and stir to combine. Then add the port. Cover, then bring to a boil. Gently simmer until the figs are tender, about 10 minutes. If liquid remains in the pan, remove the lid and simmer, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 to 4 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Transfer the compote to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Can be kept refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.
To assemble the hors d’oeuvres: Top each crostini with a heaping teaspoon of the fig compote, then another heaping teaspoon of the goat cheese. Garnish with a slice of fresh fig and a small cluster of thyme leaves. Serve immediately.