Recipe courtesy of chef Gayle Pirie of Foreign Cinema in San Francisco
• 3/4 cup Picholine olives, rinsed, pitted and chopped
• 1 small garlic clove, peeled and minced
• 2 tablespoons rinsed capers, chopped
• 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
• 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon dried lavender
• 12 thin slices baguette
• 2 fig or radicchio leaves (optional)
• 5 ounces fresh, soft goat cheese
• 3 to 4 ripe Mission figs, stems removed, halved or quartered
• 12 Belgian endive leaves (from 2 bulbs)
• 1 fennel bulb, trimmed of any outer blemishes and sliced into 1/2-inch rings
1. In a small bowl, combine the olives, garlic, capers and lemon zest. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, stirring to combine. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
2. Preheat the broiler to 450° F, with a rack positioned 6 to 10 inches from the heat. Combine the lavender and 1/2 cup olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook until the lavender perfumes the oil, about 10 minutes. Set aside; do not strain.
3. Lightly toast the bread under the broiler 1 or 2 minutes. Remove and set aside.
4. Place the fig or radicchio leaves, if using, on the bottom of a low-rimmed 6- to 8-inch cazuela or ovenproof baking dish. Press the goat cheese into a flat, even disk, about 1/2-inch thick, and transfer to the dish. Scatter the figs on top.
5. Place the dish under the broiler, checking frequently after the first 3 or 4 minutes, until cheese has puffed up slightly and is beginning to brown in spots, 10 to 12 minutes.
6. Place the hot cheese dish on a serving platter. Spoon 1 tablespoon or more of the olive tapenade over the cheese and figs, and drizzle them with 1 to 2 teaspoons of the lavender oil. Arrange the endive leaves, fennel rings and baguette toast around the edges of the dish. Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer.
Recommended wine pairings
Champalou Vouvray 2015 (91, $20)
Indaba Chenin Blanc Western Cape 2016 (88, $12)