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This beautiful cheese tray is perfect for holiday entertaining or your Christmas day feast. Grilled persimmons serve as a makeshift cracker, and balsamic and red wine marinated figs add a deep flavor ideal for pairing with this creamy cheese. Savory toasted walnuts bring a nice texture to round everything out. Follow these easy steps below and wow any crowd.
Two (4 oz) burrata balls
2 Fuyu persimmons
2 cups dried figs, halved
1 cup walnuts
1 cup red wine
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP maple syrup or brown sugar
8 large sprigs fresh thyme
1 TBSP olive oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 cups of small crackers
1. Step one: Marinate the figs
a. In a small pot over medium heat add the red wine, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Let simmer until the liquid has reduced by half.
b. Cut the figs in half (vertically) and place in a large heat-proof bowl. Pour the red wine and balsamic vinegar over the figs and let marinate for 30 minutes (until cooled), or up to overnight in the fridge.
2. Step two: Grill the persimmons
a. Heat grill to medium. Remove the stems from the persimmons, wash, and cut into thin slices (horizontally).
b. Remove the thyme leaves from 4 of the sprigs. Toss the slices with the thyme leaves, olive oil, ¼ tsp of the salt and the pepper.
c. Grill for about 1 ½ to 2 minutes per side, until there are light grill marks. Keep some of the texture in the persimmons. Remove to a plate and let cool.
3. Step three: Toast the walnuts
a. Spread the walnuts onto a small baking sheet and toast at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes, tossing half way through.
b. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the remaining salt and let cool.
4. Step four: Arrange the ingredients on a platter
a. Use the picture to arrange the ingredients. Pour any of the extra marinating liquid over the burrata.
b. Use the remaining four sprigs of thyme for garnish.
Jessica Cerra is the owner of Fit Food by Jess, a private chef and catering company in Encinitas, Calif., and the co-founder of Harmony Bar. A former professional XTERRA triathlete, Cerra now races for Twenty16 Women’s Professional Cycling Team.