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Dried Figs Topped With Goat Cheese and Spiced Balsamic Reduction

Posted Jan 20 2012 1:32pm

When balsamic vinegar is reduced, it produces a sweet and tart syrup.  Adding some chilies to it adds a nice fiery kick.  This dish is a perfect finger-food appetizer.  Make sure to reserve some extra balsamic syrup for your guests who like it fiery or simply drizzle it around the serving plate so they can scoop up as they take a fig.  The Indian in me shook out the seeds of the chile de arbol when making the syrup, but if you’re not feeling fiery keep the chile whole or just split in half.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 2 chile de arbols, split
  • Tiny pinch salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • 8 dried figs, split
  • Goat cheese, 4 oz. log
  • Chopped pistachios, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Combine vinegar, chiles, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a slight boil and then simmer on low heat until reduced.  Make sure to stir frequently.  You know when it’s reduced sufficiently when it reaches a syrup- like consistency.  (It will reduce further upon standing.)
  2. Strain out chiles from syrup using a strainer.  Stir in honey.
  3. Top each split fig with about a half teaspoon of goat cheese and top with a few pistachios.  Drizzle over balsamic reduction and enjoy!
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