Do you have a favorite holiday? For me, it’s my birthday! While technically not an official holiday (recognized by anyone but me) it is my favorite day of the year. My second favorite holiday though, is Christmas. I love the expressions of children gazing at christmas trees. I love the lights on decorated houses, sipping hot chocolate and telling fanciful stories of flying reindeer. I love Christmas music, going to Christmas parties, and of course, the food. Oh, the food! Christmas cookies, Christmas bacon (yes, it’s a thing!) and all the special holiday treats! This Fig, Grape and Walnut Spread is full of Christmas goodness! There are zesty citrus undertones, a smooth, tangy component from fresh goat cheese, spicy earthiness from the herbs and walnuts, then a sweet finish from the figs, grapes and honey. Your tongue won’t know what to do first! It’s Christmas on a cracker!
So why did I make a Christmas Spread in August? I’ll tell you! Several of my food blogger friends and I were blessed by Melissa’s Produce with a box of seasonal produce! Inside our boxes were three different types of figs, four types of grapes, two gorgeous magenta dragon fruit and a young coconut!
Our challenge was to create a dish (or dishes) with all these ingredients. This Fig, Grape and Walnut Spread is my first contribution to our recipe bonanza. Once I tasted it, it reminded me of Christmas! I know it will be a new favorite at our holiday get-together this year!
At our most recent meeting of the Inland Empire Food Bloggers Group, we shared our Melissa’s Produce creations! It was a delicious few hours!
(And this photo doesn’t even include dessert!!)
This Fig, Grape and Walnut spread is easy to put together, but you’ll need to make it a day in advance. It has to set in the refrigerator overnight (12 hours minimum) so everything sticks together and the flavors have a chance to combine.
- Make the fig puree.
- Place all ingredients for the puree in a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour puree into a microwave safe container.
- Microwave on high for two minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.
- Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, place finely chopped walnuts, ½ cup Champagne Grapes, herbes de Provence, coriander, orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice and salt. Carefully mix ingredients together. You don’t want to smash the grapes. They are delicate.
- Line a 10 oz soufflé cup with plastic wrap. Leave several inches hanging over the edge of the cup.
- Soften and quarter goat cheese. You’ll be making four layers of approx 2 oz each.
- Fill the bottom ½ inch of the soufflé cup with 2 oz of goat cheese. This will be the TOP of your cheese ball/spread.
- Add ⅛ cup of the remaining grapes on top of the cheese.
- Layer ½ of the grape, walnut, honey mix on top of the grapes.
- Add another 2 oz of softened goat cheese, carefully spreading to cover all the grape mix.
- Gently spoon the fig puree on top of the cheese.
- Add another layer of soften goat cheese on top of the fig puree.
- Layer the last half of the grape, honey, walnut mix over the cheese.
- Top with the final 2 oz of goat cheese. Spreading to cover the mixture and create a nice bottom layer of your spread.
- Fold the plastic wrap gently over the last layer of cheese.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- When you’re ready to serve, open the plastic wrap and gently invert the soufflé cup on a plate. Very gently separate the cup from the goat cheese spread and peel off the remaining plastic wrap. Serve with crackers!
I’d like to introduce you to my IEFB friends! Please check out their delicious recipes from Melissa’s Produce, as well as the other fabulous things they do on a regular basis!
You’ll be seeing more Melissa’s Produce recipes from each of us in the coming weeks. I can’t wait to share all of them with you!! (Did I mention, dessert is still coming?)
I hope you enjoy this Fig, Grape and Walnut Spread! It might become Christmas on a cracker for you too!
*Disclaimer* Thank you to Melissa’s Produce for sponsoring this post through supplying the figs, grapes, coconut and dragon fruit. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.