3 tbsp minced shallot
2 (3-inch) fresh thyme sprigs + 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1/4 bay leaf
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup dried black mission figs, finely chopped
3/4 cup port
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
12 (1/2-inch-thick) baguette slices
1 tbsp olive oil
6 oz soft mild goat cheese at room temperature
2 fresh ripe figs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
savory fig jam
cook shallot, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf in butter in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring, until shallot is softened, about 2 minutes. add dried figs, port, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. simmer, covered, until figs are soft, about 10 minutes. if there is still liquid in saucepan, remove lid and simmer, stirring, until most of liquid is evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes more. discard bay leaf and thyme sprigs and transfer jam to a bowl. cool, then stir in minced thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 350°F. halve each baguette slice diagonally, then arrange on a baking sheet and brush tops lightly with oil. bake until lightly toasted, about 7 minutes. cool on baking sheet on a rack.
spread each toast with 1 tsp fig jam, 1 1/2 tsp goat cheese, and 1-2 pieces fresh fig.
(photo by: erin)