This Fig Walnut Goat Cheese Terrine is the perfect make ahead appetizer. If you love a cheese ball, try this! The creamy cheese, the sweet figs and honey and the tangy olives and balsamic make a perfect flavor combo. Delicious for your holiday buffet or any time!
Do you need a Gr8 make ahead appetizer to take to a party? Or to serve at your own party? This Fig Walnut Goat Cheese Terrine is the answer to all your appetizer questions.
It's almost like having a cheese platter in a bowl! Make it a day ahead of time.
When party time is close, turn it onto a platter, add the crackers and you've got a pretty and tasty appetizer.
I made this up for Kyle and Joel's recent Gr8 Autumn Dinner and it was a hit! People who don't generally like goat cheese like this because of all the supporting flavors.
And if you don't normally like goat cheese, the cream cheese smoothes it out a bit. Also, the figs and honey add a little sweetness to balance the cheese, walnuts and olives. I'd say it's perfect, but that would be bragging!
AND it's sort of healthy! Figs are high in essential fatty acids, dietary fiber, and antioxidants. And walnuts are shaped like a brain for a reason...they are good for our memory! Goat cheese is a good source of protein, healthy fats, and probiotics.
Add this recipe to your repertoire for all your holiday entertaining. It will check off a big box on your "to-do" list!
Need other appetizers? Check out ALL of our Gr8 appetizer recipes.
How to Make this Fancy Cheese Ball
There are three parts to this yummy dish, the figs, the nuts and the cheese.
This layer takes the most prep so we do it first. Heat the olive oil.
While the oil is heating, to make the figs "chewable," after chopping just pour some really hot water over them.
Add the fig/water mix to the hot oil then add the vinegar and thyme. Cook this, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick and jammy.
Once it's thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the chopped olives. Then just set it aside to cool.
This works best if the two cheese are at room temperature. Because they need to be blended together and it's easier to do if they are softened.
You can do this in your food processor or with an electric mixer. Or, you can do it by hand with a pastry blender or fork, it will just take a bit longer.
Simply mix together the chopped walnuts and the honey in a bowl. This will start as the bottom layer, but ultimately be the top layer! "The last shall be first..."!
To Assemble the Terrine
Choose a 3- to 4-cup nicely shaped bowl and line it with plastic wrap so the sides drape over the edge of the bowl by about 4 inches.
The walnut/honey mixture goes into the bowl first. Simply press it into a single layer going up the sides of the bowl.
Don't worry if it doesn't go all the way up, it's okay if some of the other layers show through.
Take one-third of the cheese mixture and add it to the bowl, smoothing the top and pushing it to the sides.
Now put all of the fig mixture onto the cheese layer. Flatten it as much as possible without pressing it too much into the cheese.
Add the remaining two-thirds of the cheese mixture to the bowl, push to the sides, and smooth out the top with your spatula.
Then fold the over-hanging plastic over the top and tightly seal. You can add more plastic wrap if necessary.
Put the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to one day.
So Gr8 to have a delicious recipe that you can make so far ahead of time.
I like to take this out of the fridge about 20 to 30 minutes before serving and turn it out. This takes the chill off and makes the terrine easier to serve.
So, remove from the fridge and open up the plastic. Use the overhanging plastic to lift the ball from the bowl and invert it onto a platter so the walnut/honey mix is on top.
Add crackers or bread or whatever you like to the platter, garnish, and serve!
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Fig Walnut Goat Cheese Terrine
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped dried figs, I use Calimyrna
- ½ cup hot water
- 1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 1 to 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus some sprigs for garnish
- ¼ cup chopped kalamata olives
- 8 ounces plain goat cheese, at room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup honey
Fig Layer Preparation
- Heat the olive oil over medium high in a small non-stick frying pan.
- While the pan is heating, pour the hot water over the figs. Once the olive oil is hot, add the figs and water to the oil.
- Add the vinegar and thyme and cook for 5 to 8 minutes until the liquid has absorbed and the mixture is thick and slightly jammy.
- Remove from heat and stir in the Kalamata olives. Set this aside to cool.
Cheese Layer Preparation
- In the bowl of your food processor, pulse the two cheeses until both cheeses are fully incorporated and the mixture is creamy. Set aside.
Walnut Layer Preparation
- Mix together the walnuts and the honey in a small bowl.
Assembly of the Terrine
- Line a small mixing bowl (3 to 4 cup) with plastic wrap. Ensure that the wrap drapes over each side by at least 4 inches.
- First Layer - Spoon the walnut and honey mixture into the bottom of the plastic wrap lined bowl and press it into a single layer. Some of the mixture will go up the sides slightly. Make sure there are no gaps.
- Second Layer - Spoon about ⅓ of the cheese mixture on top of the walnut mixture and use a rubber spatula to smooth the top.
- Third Layer - Spoon all of the fig mixture onto the first cheese layer and flatten it as much as possible.
- Fourth Layer - Put the remaining cheese mixture on top of the figs and flatten with your spatula.
- Fold the overhanging plastic over the top of the terrine to seal. Use extra plastic wrap to tightly seal if necessary.
- Refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.
- When ready to serve, carefully unseal the plastic and lift the terrine out of the bowl using the extra plastic wrap as handles. Invert it into the middle of your serving tray. Then arrange your crackers around it.
- Garnish with thyme sprigs and enjoy!
Gr8 Do Ahead Tip:
- The cheese mixture and fig mixture can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and refrigerated.
- The whole terrine can be assembled the day before serving and refrigerated.