Crostini with Poached Figs and Goat Cheese


20 crostini
2 cups dry red wine, such as Pinot noirdry red wine2
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon honeyhoney2
6 dried Mission figs (about 4 ounces)figs, dried6
2 whole star anisestar anise2
3 ounces pancetta, sliced into ¼-inch thick slicespancetta3
1 loaf country white bread, cut into ½-inch slices, and then cut into shapes, optionalcountry-style bread1
2 tablespoons olive oilolive oil2
8 ounces goat cheese, at room temperaturegoat cheese8
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 small lemon)lemon juice2
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mintfresh mint leaves1
¼ teaspoon kosher saltkosher saltΒΌ
2 tablespoons sliced fresh mint, for sprinklingfresh mint leaves2


In a medium saucepan combine the wine, 2 tablespoons of the honey, the figs and star anise. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the figs are plump and tender, about 20 minutes.

Transfer the figs to a cutting board to cool for 5 minutes. Then cut the figs into 1/4-inch slices. Discard the anise and bring the liquid back up to a boil over medium heat. Cook until the mixture is thick and reduced to 1/4 cup, about 10 minutes. Transfer the syrup to a small bowl and cool to room temperature.

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.

Place the pancetta on a baking sheet and bake until the slices are crispy and brown, about 6 minutes. Set aside to cool then roughly chop.

Brush the bread slices with the oil. Place on a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.

In a medium bowl combine the goat cheese, lemon juice, remaining 1 teaspoon honey, the chopped mint and the salt. Spread 1 tablespoon of the goat cheese mixture onto each crostini. Top with fig slices, pancetta crumbles and a sprinkle of sliced mint. Just before serving, drizzle with the reserved syrup.
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