When I think of Fall and all the holidays that will be here so fast, fresh herbs, specifically rosemary, come to mind. It has such a fragrant, woodsy aroma, I can't help but think of holiday parties and good times with good friends.
I purchased some the other day, and when I opened the package, immediately remembered this fig, pecan, and rosemary crusted goat cheese. Combined, these flavors just beg to be served by a warm fire with your favorite glass of wine.
I first saw this recipe a few years ago in my local market, attached to a jar of fig spread. After placing the jar in my cart, I realized that it came with a pretty hefty price tag for such a small amount. So after thinking about it for a bit, and realizing that I had a package of dried figs in my pantry, I opted to put the jar back, go home and make my own. In my opinion, the taste of homemade is far superior anyway.
Goat cheese is one of my absolute favorites. It's tartness, combined with the sweetness of the figs, aromatic rosemary, and crunch of the toasted pecans just seem to be a match made in Heaven. I also know that anything fig sends my friend Stacey into a state of "figgy bliss", so it is with her in mind that I post this today...
This recipe will be more than enough for 8 ounce log of goat cheese, or two 4 ounce rolls. I like to make one for now and save one for unexpected guests. The remaining spread is fantastic on toast.
3/4 lb dried figs
1/3 c sugar
1-1/2 c water
1 Tbs lemon juice
Remove stems from figs and chop very coarsely. place into a 2 quart saucepan and cover with water. Add sugar. Bring figs to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pan with lid and then simmer on low for about 30 minutes. Liquid should reduce by about 2/3rds.
Place figs into a food processor and puree until smooth. Add lemon juice, and process to a smooth, sticky, jam like consistency. Set aside to cool. Store in a covered container in refrigerator until ready to use.
adapted from Dalmatia Fig Spread
1 cup pecan halves, toasted
4 Tbs fig spread, divided
2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely minced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1- 8 ounce or 2- 4 ounce logs goat cheese, chilled
In food processor place pecans, 2 Tbs fig spread, rosemary, and kosher salt. Pulse until mixture is the size of small peas. Set aside.
Remove goat cheese from refrigerator and spread with remaining 2 Tbs of fig spread, except for the ends. If it does not seem to coat evenly or enough, feel free to add a bit more until nicely coated.
Place nut mixture on a plate and flatten. Place log of goat cheese on top, and roll to coat, packing and smoothing as necessary.
Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. Best served with a non-salty cracker such as Table Water or whole grain .
Now for the giveaway! If you are like me, many of you have started thinking of your holiday menu's and table scapes. Some of us are up late into the night or beginning early in the morning. In any case, we usually need a jolt to keep us thinking, and a few ideas to inspire us. So for one lucky person, I have a bag of Peet's French Roast Whole Bean Coffee, and the book Dinner Parties, inspired recipes and party ideas for entertaining, by Williams- Sonoma.
All you have to do is leave me a comment on my blog (if you are reading this via Facebook, please use the link to my blog and leave a comment there) telling me your favorite holiday tip- from wrapping gifts to creating recipes. Entries must be received no later than Thursday October 1st, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. PST, with the winner to be announced sometime Friday morning, October 2nd. Good luck everyone!