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Author Notes: This appetizer is a little bit grilled cheese and a little bit bruschetta. Mostly, it’s really delicious!
—The Weiser Kitchen
- 1 cup dried black Mission figs, chopped finely, stem tips removed and discarded
- 1/4 cup heavy sweet Malaga kosher wine or grape juice
- 1/4 cup verjus, preferably California, or red wine vinegar
- Leaves of 8 thyme sprigs
- 6 large fresh tarragon leaves
- 12 green grapes, cut in half
- 1 large baguette, preferably semolina
- 8 ounces Humboldt Fog or other soft, Northern California bleu cheese
- Make the fig compote: Combine the figs, wine, and verjus in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Make an herb bundle by placing the thyme and zest in a small piece of cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine. Add the bundle to the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the figs are soft. Remove from the heat and discard the herb bundle.
- Make the topping: mix the tarragon and grapes in a small bowl and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper or a Silpat and set aside. Cut the bread on the diagonal into 10 to 12 pieces and arrange the pieces on the sheet in a single layer.
- Cut the cheese into very thin slices and set aside.
- Place the bread in the oven and toast on one side for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until each is pale brown. Remove the baking sheet from oven, and set the oven to broil.
- Flip the toast on the baking sheet once again and top with cheese slices, making sure to cover them evenly, end to end. Return the sheet to the oven and broil for about 1 minute, until the cheese melts.
- While the toast is toasting, add the grapes and tarragon to a small mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Top each and drizzle generously with an equal amount of the warm fig compote. Top each with an equal amount of grape and tarragon mixture. Serve immediately.