Somewhere I filed a version of this recipe but now it’s nowhere to be found. So, based on memory I proceeded to buy ingredients I thought would work ~ and this turned out great! This recipe has the addition of pomegranates and bacon and I used dried figs in place of dates that were listed in the lost recipe. I served the cheese with an extra drizzle of good olive oil and surrounded the platter with toasted seeded bread and cranberry hazelnut crackers. This is a great make-ahead recipe and goes beautifully on any hors d’oeuvre buffet.
Makes approximately 3 cups.
- 4-6 slices of bacon (optional) (approximately 3/4 cup chopped)
- 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 1/2 T butter
- 10 dried Turkish figs, julienne sliced
- 2 T fresh thyme, rough chopped
- 2 T honey, plus more for goat cheese mixture
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 12 oz goat cheese, softened
- 1/2 C Greek yogurt
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing touches
- 2 T honey
- 1/3 C toasted pine nuts
- 4 T pomegranate seeds
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 5-6 pieces of pomegranate
- toasted seeded thinly sliced bread & cranberry hazelnut crackers
- 2 springs of rosemary (optional)
In a cast iron skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Transfer to paper bag or paper towels to drain off grease. Chop and set aside until ready to garnish goat cheese. Reserve bacon drippings. In a non-stick pan on medium heat, pour a tablespoon or two of the reserved bacon drippings and add butter. Add shallots and cook until caramelized. Approximately 5 minutes. Once caramelized, add 2 tablespoons honey, figs, thyme and sea salt. Stir until shallots are coated with honey. Removed from heat to cool slightly. In a shallow serving bowl, add goat cheese mixture and spread out with a spatula, leaving a little room on the edges to garnish with pomegranate and toasted bread/crackers. Top the cheese with the shallot-fig-honey-thyme mixture. Sprinkle on the toasted pine nuts, pomegranate seeds and sprigs of thyme. Drizzle with additional olive oil and if so desired, more honey. Arrange toasted bread and crackers around the edge and tablespoon sized pieces of the pomegranate for more color. Serve at room temperature.
- To make this a vegetarian hors d’oeuvre, just omit the bacon.
- If you are having a party with passed hors d’oeuvres, you could make the cheese ahead of time. Serve dollops of the cheese on toasted bread or crackers and garnish each individual hors d’oeuvre with the same toppings. Would be really pretty!
- Using slivered toasted almonds or toasted pecans in place of the pine nuts would save you – ohhhh a million dollars! AND be just as tasty! Pine nuts are ridiculously expensive these days!
- Dried apricots would be so pretty and so delicious on this hors d’oeuvre platter! Definitely doing that next time.
- I’m not a huge fan of rosemary, but if you are – toasting the rosemary along with the shallots and figs would be a good way to add additional flavor.