This easy hot dip features a big dish of thyme-infused goat cheese that’s baked to soft, spreadable perfection, plus a sweet-and-tangy balsamic fig topping for an extra boost of holiday cheer.
Balsamic Fig Compote
- 1/2 cup dried mission figs, sliced
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
Baked Goat Cheese Dip
- 300g (10 oz) package soft goat cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup cream cheese cheese, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped pistachios, for garnish
- 1 package (220g) Ozery’s Pita Break Lavash Crackers, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400F.
Prepare the Compote:
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the figs, water, balsamic, honey and thyme to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the figs are soft.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the figs to a bowl, leaving the syrup and thyme sprigs in the pan. Increase heat to high and reduce to ¼ cup. Discard the thyme sprigs, and return the figs to the pan. Keep warm over low heat until ready to serve, stirring occasionally.
- (The compote can also be prepared up to a week in advance and then rewarmed on the stovetop as the dip is baking.)
Bake the Goat Cheese Dip:
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the goat cheese, cream cheese, olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper until smooth.
- Spread the cheese mixture into a well-seasoned 8” cast iron skillet (or a lightly greased baking dish) and smooth out into an even layer. Drizzle a little olive oil onto the top, then bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until bubbly and golden.
- Spoon half of the fig compote into the centre of the dip, and sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Serve immediately with lots of Ozery’s Pita Break Lavash Crackers on the side for dipping.
- If the dip starts to cool off and gets too crumbly for easy dipping, just pop the dish back into the oven for 5 minutes to warm everything back up.
This recipe makes enough fig compote for two servings – you’ll use half to top the dip, and then save the other half for another day. It’s delicious with roast pork or duck breast, or you can serve it in a pretty dish beside a cheese platter.
If you’re really pressed for time, you can also substitute a few spoonfuls of prepared fig spread and a drizzle of balsamic reduction for the homemade topping.
- Category: Appetizer
- Cuisine: Mediterranean