Fig Compote With Star Anise

Spread the love

To all those that have someone special in their life to share this day with, I wish you a fantastic Valentine’s Day.

Do all those googly-oogly things couples do and try to add a little spice to your lives, inject some sponatanaeity and give each other little surprises to keep things interesting.

If you’re going to to go out, I hope you’ve reserved at your favourite spot and you’re sure that the same good service and great food will be offered and that you won’t be rushed to finish your dinner.

I prefer staying in on Valentine’s. Go make something that’s relatively easy, where both of you can share cooking duties, decide who’s chef and who’s sous-chef. The last thing you need is a kitchen argument.

Ladies, let’s be realistic. Valentine’s means more to women than men.

I hate to break it to you but we have to remember Valentine’s, we have to execute the day’s expected behaviour. We follow the our notes on Valentine’s to a TEE (who am I kidding, guys don’t keep notes).

Now, I’m not saying guys can’t be romantic but we just know that women (most at least) want the “treatment” on Valentine’s.

I’ve always been the type to try and keep things exciting in a relationship…naughty little notes, surprise visit to her work to go for lunch, come home early to do a dreaded house chore or buy a little present…just ’cause I wanted to.

Do we really have to jump through hoops on this day? If it takes a guy one certain day (Valentine’s) to express his love for you…think hard about the relationship.

Please don’t be calling a divorce lawyer saying, “Peter sent you” but cut the guys some slack. Most of us like doing sweet little nothing al year ’round…at least I do.

So here, I have my Valentine’s dessert for all of you. I’ve made a Fig Compote, spiced with cinnamon, star anise, cloves, chili flakes and poached in Mavrodaphne fortified Greek wine.

You can serve this with good French Vanilla Ice Cream but I wanted to keep this dessert Greek, so I’ve served it instead with strained Greek yogurt.

I hope you’re making dinner for each other tonight and, the only other advice I can give is PLEASE DO NOT choose any menu item that involves frying. Cooking naked has it’s hazards!

Fig Compote With Star Anise 

4 ounces (about 1 cup) dried figs
1 cup Mavrodaphne (or other fortified wine)
2 tablespoons honey

6 whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon

1 star anise pod

1/2 vanilla bean or vanilla extract

1 strip of lemon peel
1/2 tsp. chili flakes

*If necessary to thicken, mix 1 Tbsp. corn starch
+ 2 Tbsp cold water

  1. Put all ingredients in medium saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove the solids (spices, etc) from the compote.
  2. Serve warm or cool with ice cream or strained yogurt.

© 2008 – 2016,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

31 Comments for “Fig Compote With Star Anise”

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)


Your wife is one lucky gal. My husband is away on business, but he left little “somethings” with the children with the instruction to spoil mommy the whole day…

I,ve never considered making my hubby dearest jump through hoops, but I’m sure he will if I asked with a desert like this.
Thanks Peter



Yet another stunning creation. Sounds very good.

You know, I may be a woman, but I don’t particularly like Valentine’s day. My sweetie does special things for me year round and I think it’s rather silly to devote just one day to love. I also bake him yummy treats and meals year round, for which he is always thankful.



I’m working on my menu for a nice romantic dinner for 5 (ha, ha). My beloved cooked me a hot dog, which is about his outside limit, for lunch. Hey, the little things count, right?

Happy V-Day to you and that special someone!



Happy Valentines Day to you too Peter :)
That’s a lovely dessert. Figs are my weakness. Staying in is always nice and homemade cards are the best!

Flanboyant Eats


your dessert looks so yummmy… and spending another single year, i might just treat myself to all these delectable things i keep coming across…

kudos to you!



Are you married, Peter? I always thought you were the swinging bachelor type. Call me old-fashioned, but I still prefer some nice dark chocolate over a creamy fruit dessert.

Happy VD, Peter!

Happy cook


Tha last para about deepfrying made me burst into laugh.
Me and my hubby have this pact, we don’t buy any present or make a big phho haa on valentine.
I just think it is just all good for shops and restaurants.
Do you need a special day to celebrate how much you love each ohter, i don’t think so.
But that dessert i would love to have any day



Now I know what to make with my star anise. Everyday feels like Valentine’s with my Bear….I make sure of it! lol

Laurie Constantino


I’d take this as a special Valentine’s treat any day! It sounds wonderful in every way.



Very well said, Peter! My fiance and I usually just get eachother cards for Vday and try not to make a big deal about it. It’s very commercial anyway. With that said, I am taking the opportunity (not today, but tomorrow) to cook a romantic dinner for two. I haven’t cooked in awhile so it’s a good excuse. Don’t worry though – no frying naked will be happening in my kitchen! :)



You had me at star anise — yum! I love a nice syrupy rich dessert and the spicy kick is a very nice touch.



We stay home for Valentine. I like to share a good meal with my husband and kids. We had a good supper. Happy Valentine!



This dessert makes my knees weak! Yes, I love chocolate (I’m a woman, after all!), but figs are the sexiest fruit of all!



Hola Chico! What a beautiful dessert! It looks fantastic to me… however, I would have vainilla icecream instead of iogurt, if you don’t mind!

I guess you had your Valentines’ to your feet after she tried this!!!



The figs look absolutely luscious. I had a visual on that frying naked thing – ouch… I’ll remember never to do that :)



Oops, Peter forgot to ask you – if you have a recipe for the Greek cookies (don’t know the name of them) – we call them cocaine cookies – full of icing sugar…please… my favourites.

Peter M


Nina, you’re a lucky gal that your hubby leaves little gifts like…they go a long way.

Lisa, sounds like you’ve got a catch too!

Marjie, I hope he at least got the hot dog right.

Heather, currently single but I have a strange woman in my bedroom (kidding)!

Pixie, you call your guy bear? Aww!

Holler, in hindsight..some nuts would have worked!

Nuria, she even gave me a foot massage!;)

Giz, I think you’re referring to Kourabiedes…do a search on the blog for them and tell me/email if you need more info and don’t snort’em!

Gato Azul | Chat Bleu


beautiful and refined, Peter. Valentine’s Day, for me, is essential, not in its rituals, but because it is a reminder of exactly what you are saying. it just doesn’t stop at one day only…



Really sexy dish, Peter. I can’t imagine you being single for long once you dish that up to the ladies.:)

Astra Libris


Ooooh, your fig compote recipe is completely sexy, and beautifully sophistocated… Much better suited to naked cooking than frying, too. ;-)
Great words about V-day… I agree – the most special moments are the unplanned ones all year ’round…



I don’t particularly like Valentine’s Day – if my husband tried to do anything special on the day, I’d be sure he was up to something…

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen


Figs are so hot, they really are. I love soaking them in wine and then serving them over ice cream.

I totally agree with your sentiments, but I do enjoy playing the game once a year. I think it is a fun excuse to go the extra extra mile. But romance is an everyday thing at my house! ;)



You got it all Peter, telling how men really feel. Oh, and our Valentine’s Day is on June 12th. Your dessert looks delicious!



That star anise kind of looks like a spider. It’s freaking me out.

This sounds delicious! I like it when you make dessert.



LOL – I have scary visions of people cooking under-clothed. Makes an apron seem especially important in those circumstances. The dessert looks great – very sophisticated.

Proud Italian Cook


Peter,I don’t think you’ll have any problem meeting woman, just tell them to check out your blog, they’ll be busting down your door!!!



This looks divine! I make a fantastic and easy frozen yogurt using Greek yogurt. I’ll bet it would be wonderful with your fig compote.