Fig and Walnut Goat Cheese Appetizer
I came upon this appetizer on a website for my favorite brand of fig jam years ago. The recipe has since disappeared off of their site, so I'm glad I memorized it. The first time I made it was for my cooking club, and we ate all of it! It then became a regular appetizer I would bring to get togethers with my friends. The combination of fig, walnuts roasted with the jam, and the tanginess of the goat cheese creates such a great balance with every bite. It quickly becomes addicting! I will leave notes at the end with suggestions for what type of fig jam or butter to use and also some notes about goat cheese for those of you who think you might not like it. I once thought I didn't like goat cheese either, but now I love it!
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
4 TBSP fig jam or fig butter divided ( you will use 2 TBSP at a time)
8 oz. goat cheese log ( or you can use two 4 oz. logs)
1) Pre-heat the oven to 300.
2) Chop the walnuts into small pieces if they are not already chopped.
3) Mix 2 TBSP of the fig jam with the walnut pieces and spread out evenly on a pan lined with parchment paper. It will stick if you don't use parchment paper!
4) Roast the walnuts for 4-6 minutes, checking after four minutes to make sure they don't burn, you want them to be a little toasty so the fig jam starts to caramelized.
5) Let the walnuts cool slightly.
6) Roll out a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper and spread the walnuts into a rectangular shape that will cover the goat cheese log. There is a picture below of this process.
7) Spread the remaining 2 TBSP of fig jam over three of the sides of the goat cheese and then place the goat cheese in the middle of the walnuts on the plastic wrap.
8) Using the plastic wrap roll the sides of the plastic wrap up to coat the goat cheese in the walnut mixture.
9) Wrap tightly in the plastic wrap and place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours.
10) Serve with crackers. I like to use rice crackers, the lightness of the crackers goes really well with the goat cheese.
I have used Dalmatia Fig Jam, Trader Joe's Fig Butter, and Fresh Thyme Fig Jam for this recipe and they all turned out great! My favorite Fig Jam is Dalmatia, but it is the most expensive. It has the most best flavor and is imported so you can find it at World Market or the specialty section of your grocery store.
If you think you don't like goat cheese try a little more expensive brand. I used to only buy Trader Joe's goat cheese, and although it is a great deal it is more tangy than a more expensive brand you can find at most local grocery stores. This is a special occasion appetizer so go for the good stuff!