Makes 1 ½ cups
Mound this wine-scented and herb-flavored fruit mixture over a round of fresh chevre (goat cheese) and accompany the colorful creation with thin slices of French baguette or mild flavored crackers. No need to follow the dried fruit quantities or choices exactly; use about 1 ½ cups total fruit, taking into account that a colorful variety will make the most stunning presentation.
½ cup Sauternes or other sweet white wine
¼ cup light raisins
¼ cup dried blueberries
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup finely chopped dried dates
¼ cup finely chopped dried figs
¼ cup finely chopped dried apricots
Thin zest strips from 1 lemon
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
2 green onions (both white and green parts), finely chopped
6 to 8 ounces chevre
Bring the wine to a simmer in a small saucepan; remove from the heat. Add the raisins, blueberries, cranberries, dates, figs, and apricots; cover and let stand until the fruit is softened, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining ingredients, except the green onions and chevre.
When the fruit has softened, stir in the green onions and the lemon juice mixture.
Transfer the fruit compote to a covered container (preferably glass) and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
To serve, form the chevre into a 1 ½-inch thick round. Place the cheese on a platter; top and surround it with the fruit compote and its juices. Serve with a basket of bread or crackers; provide cheese spreaders and small spoons for serving.