Sweet and savory fig compote is easy to make using dried figs, and it gets slathered on top of a toasted buttery crostini slice with creamy, tangy goat cheese for a deliciously comforting appetizer! Everyone will love it as vegetarians will enjoy the pairing as is, and meat-eaters can add a slice of salty, crispy bacon.
Has anyone figured out why fresh fig season is so dang short? It’s like some sort of cruel joke that we can’t enjoy the sweet, syrupy fruit with notes of honey and berry and pure deliciousness longer.
But I figured out a hack, and while nothing quite compares to a fresh fig, having the option to make a luxurious sweet-and-savory fig compote from dried figs is the best kind of compromise. We’re having fig and goat cheese appetizers year round now, my friends!
So yes, you’ll love the sticky sweet fig compote with hints of thyme, zesty lemon, warm cinnamon, and rich red wine. You’ll also love how easy it all is to make, and that most of the cook time is hands-off. Assembly is quick and easy, too. Even better? There’s a vegetarian and non-vegetarian option for this crostini recipe.
This recipe was first published in the very baby days of Fork in the Kitchen, when I made a lot of meals that could easily be vegetarian with all the flavor, or had an added meat component for those interested. If you don’t eat meat, you’ll still love the fig and goat cheese combination. And if you do eat meat? You’ll love the saltiness the bacon adds, along with the added texture.
Ok, so we’ve got that covered. Let’s cook!
The Ingredients You’ll Need
The main ingredients are to create the fig compote. It’s full of complex flavors that balance each other out, and while the compote is full of warming flavors that make it perfect for winter, it’s still bright enough to enjoy in the warmer summertime months too. Did I mention this is a delicious perfect app?
- Dried Figs – I use dried Mission Figs for this recipe because it’s what I can easily find in my grocery store. You can also use Smyrna figs if those are easily available to you. Find dried figs near the other dried fruits and sometimes the produce area.
- Fresh Thyme – isn’t the warmness fresh thyme adds unparaelled?! You can go ahead and substitute dried if needed, see the notes in the recipe card below.
- Lemon Zest and Juice – bringing brightness to the compote.
- Granulated Sugar – also goes into the compote.
- Red Wine – bold and rich, it adds a wonderful balance to the compote. No wine available? You can use red grape fruit juice.
- Cinnamon – adds an additional hint of warmth to the compote.
- Baguette – to make the crostini. You’ll also use olive oil and salt for the crostini.
- Goat Cheese – creamy and tangy, the goat cheese balances out beautifully with the sweet fig compote.
How to Make Fig Compote
Making fig compote is a really simple process that just requires a little heat and time to come together.
Start by combining water, red wine, thyme, lemon zest and juice, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan (photos 1-2). Bring it to a simmer, then add the dried figs (photo 3). Adding the figs after the mixture has already begun to simmer helps to speed up the process slightly.
Once the figs are added, return it to a simmer for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occassionally. This allows the dried figs to rehydrate and break down, creating a luscious, sticky compote. After they’ve softened, remove the thyme sprigs using a fork or tongs and begin to gently smash down the figs. Continue simmering for 15 more minutes or so, until the compote has thickened (photo 4). Note that it will continue to thicken slightly after cooling.
Assembling the Crostini
As the compote cooks down, prepare the homemade crostini slices. We’re all about efficiency here, and with each part prepared at the same time, assembly will be a breeze!
If you are preparing bacon for this recipe, go ahead and bake it in the oven while the compote cooks as well. I like making bacon in the oven to prevent splatter all over my stove, and it’s just a whole lot easier. Line the baking sheet with foil or parchment paper for easy clean up once the grease cools, too.
With each component of this crostini appetizer ready, it’s time to assemble! Take a crisp piece of crostini and slather on room temperature goat cheese. Then add a couple pieces of bacon if using, and add the fig compote. A heaping scoop is recommended…you want all the goodness on there you can get!
Room temperature goat cheese will be easiest to spread. Take it out of the fridge before you begin pitting the cherries and it will be ready by the time you need to assemble it.
I recommend garnishing with fresh thyme. If it’s summer and your basil plants are a plenty, fresh basil is also a nice addition with the flavors. You really can’t go wrong with a fresh herb garnish.
That’s it! Pour yourself a glass of red wine and enjoy with friends, a partner, or a dinner-for-one with your favorite TV show. Perfection.
More Easy Crostini Recipes
- Roasted Cherry Crostini
- Broccolini and White Bean Crostini
- Citurs Pesto Crostini
- Butternut Squash and Pear Crostini
- Roasted Grape and Honey Crostini
Fig Compote and Goat Cheese Crostini (with bacon option)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2-3 thyme sprigs
- 1 small lemon zested
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 8-9 oz. dried Mission figs diced
- 1 baguette sliced, approximately 16 slices
- Olive oil to drizzle
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 oz. goat cheese log room temperature
- 8 bacon slices optional
- In a medium saucepan, stir together water, red wine, thyme sprigs, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and add the diced figs.
- After the compote simmers for 30 minutes, remove the thyme sprigs with a fork or tongs, and begin slightly smashing the figs. Continue to simmer the compote for 15 more minutes until it has thickened to desired consistency.
- While the fig compote is cooking, pre-heat the oven to 375°.
- If using bacon: lay the bacon slices on a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil (for easy clean up). Bake for 15-25 minutes until crispy as desired. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to cool. Once cooled, cut bacon slices into thirds.
- Crostini: spread the baguette slices on a separate baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil (don’t drench them, dry areas are ok). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Flip slices over and repeat the drizzling process. I like to swirl the slices around on the pan to soak up the extra oil that is on the pan from the drizzling process and to spread the oil evenly on the slices. for 12-14 minutes, flipping halfway through. Watch carefully so they don’t burn.
- Once compote has simmered for 45 minutes and is thick, remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Assemble each crostini slice in the following order: a spread of goat cheese, a slice or two of cut bacon (if using), and fig compote. Garnish with additional thyme as desired.
By the Way…
This recipe is part of our collection of crostini topping recipes. Check it out!