Crostini with Poached Figs and Goat Cheese
- 2 cups dry red wine, such as Pinot noir
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon honey
- 6 dried Mission figs (about 4 ounces)
- 2 whole star anise
- 3 ounces pancetta, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 1 loaf country white bread, cut into 1/2-inch slices, and then cut into shapes, optional
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 small lemon)
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons sliced fresh mint, for sprinkling
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.
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.