I decided to make the Goat Cheese Terrine with Fig Jam and Pesto. Like most of the recipes in the book, it’s very simple to pull together – it only took me about 10 minutes to whip up – and the results are really lovely. I’m not sure I would have naturally come up with the combination of pesto and fig jam, but the sweet and herbal flavors are tied together well by the layer of goat cheese in between. This is the kind of appetizer that disappears in no time at a party, the sort of thing that draws everyone into the same room to stand around the table and nibble on cheese-covered crackers and chat. It takes a little bit of patience to get the cheese to spread out evenly, but that’s the only part that is even remotely tricky. Even my least culinary friends could handle this one.
Goat Cheese Terrine with Fig Jam and Pesto
Serves 8-12 as an appetizer.
- 1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 pound soft fresh goat cheese, such as Capricho de Cabra, at room temperature
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 c. basil pesto
- 3/4 c. fig jam
- 1/2 c. walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
- Line the inside of a very deep 4-cup bowl with plastic wrap, allowing the edges to drape over the sides. Cream the butter and fresh goat cheese in a mixing bowl for 3 minutes, until fluffy. Add a dash of salt and pepper, to taste.
- Spoon one-third of the goat cheese into the plastic-lined bowl, and spread it evenly with a spatula to form your first layer. Top this with a layer of pesto (using up the entire 1/2 cup), but don’t spread it all the way to the edge (it will seep out on its own), followed by a second layer of goat cheese (there will be three total). Top the second layer of goat cheese with a layer of fig jam, followed by a final tier of goat cheese.
- Cover the dish with a layer of plastic wrap. Chill for 2 to 4 hours, or until set. Before serving, remove the top layer of plastic wrap and invert the bowl onto a plate (you may need to tug at the plastic wrap to get the terrine to fall out of the bowl), then remove the bowl and the plastic liner. Garnish with the toasted nuts. Serve with baguette rounds or crackers.