The dish is a rich combination of flavors and textures; it is slightly bitter, creamy, crunchy, and sweet all at once. At the end of the night, there was one filled leaf remaining on the plate, left untouched only because it had fallen upside-down and looked empty.
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook
3/4 cup pecans
5 tbsp honey
4 oz. fresh goat cheese, softened
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup port wine
6-7 heads endive
2-3 sprigs parsley
9 whole fresh purple figs, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
Place softened cheeses in a medium bowl and stir until fully combined. Cover and place in refrigerator until stiff enough to work with, at least 20 minutes.
Rinse endive and slice about one inch off of the base of each head. Trim the tops and remove any brownish outer leaves. Place 36 large to medium-sized separated leaves on a kitchen towel to dry.
Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine 2 tbsp honey with pecans and toss. Spread out in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake 4 minutes, stir, and continue baking until shiny, about 4 more minutes. Set aside to cool.
Remove cheese from refrigerator. Using two teaspoons, form 36 quenelles by transferring small scoops of cheese back and forth between the spoons. Place each quenelle inside one endive leaf, and arrange on serving platter.
Place the port and remaining 3 tbsp honey in a small nonstick saucepan. Cook over low heat until mixture has been reduced to a thick syrup, 5 to 8 minutes.
Place one slice of fig and one glazed pecan on each quenelle, and drizzle with port wine reduction. Garnish each leaf with a small piece of parsley.