Kumquat-Peppercorn Compote with Cow's Milk Cheese

This easy-to-make compote works nicely with many different cheeses, but an aged sheep's milk cheese is particularly good. Although the compote is sweet, you can easily turn this into a savory course by adding a bit of prosciutto along with the cheese. In that case, think about serving this cheese plate before the meal, as an hors d'oeuvre.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
Save Recipe


1 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 pound kumquats, cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices and seeded

2 teaspoons whole peppercorns

1 star anise

6 large slices hearty Italian-style bread

6 ounces aged cow's milk cheese (or use any aged goat's or sheep's milk cheese)


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. To make the compote: In a medium heavy-bottom pot, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Continue cooking until the mixture is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the remaining ingredients except the cheese and bread. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the kumquats are soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. (Makes about 1/2 cup.)
  3. Cut the bread slices into 3 pieces each. Place on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until light brown. Turn the slices and toast. Let cool completely.
  4. To serve, place a little compote on each slice of bread. Serve the cheese alongside.

Grape and Olive Goat Cheese Crostini

Baked Brie with Fig Compote

Crostini with Poached Figs and Goat Cheese

Blistered Grape and Goat Cheese Bruschetta