In the midst of a big meal, take a moment to stop and savor the combination of rich goat cheese and its nutty, figgy counterparts.
Servings: Serves 6
Ingredients 1 tablespoon butter3 large or 6 small shallots , sliced1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves1/2 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper12 dried figs , stems removed, and halved3 heads Belgian endive , cut in half lengthwise and sliced into strips2/3 cup walnuts , toasted and coarsely chopped1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons bittersweet syrup (saba, sapa, vin cotto, or mosto cotto, syrups made from reduced grape must)1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil8 ounces goat cheese1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
In a small skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallots, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 7 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool.
Combine shallots with figs, endive, walnuts, parsley, 2 teaspoons saba, olive oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
Spoon mixture onto a large platter. Cut cheese into slices and arrange on top of salad. Drizzle cheese with remaining 2 tablespoons saba, and garnish with cracked pepper.
Recommended ingredient: Saba, sapa, vin cotto and mosto cotto are available from Corti Brothers (800-509-3663) and DiPalo Fine Foods (212-226-1033)