My husband and I often discuss foods that we would not have eaten as kids but now adore as adults. Figs definitely would have been on my list. I don’t think I ever ate fresh figs as a child, but Fig Newtons definitely made the rotations of cookies in our pantry. I can’t say that I was a big fan.
However, as an adult, I adore figs in all fashions. Whether you are offering fresh figs or dried, I am glad to partake. Add them to a charcuterie tray, top them with a little bit of goat cheese, or eat them as is, I do love figs. However, as I looked through my archive of recipes, I realized I have written only three (3!) recipes, and they all use fresh figs.
As I do with any new recipe idea, I start by thinking about the flavors and textures I want in the final product. I knew I definitely wanted to add some moisture to the figs. While I could have chosen a juice, working with wine is so much more fun. In the initial testing, I made two batches, one with cinnamon and one with rosemary. The rosemary was the clear winner, as the cinnamon brought out more sweetness than I wanted.
The next step was to determine what cheese to use as the bottom coating for the brushcetta. My first three choices were blue cheese, goat cheese, and ricotta. Blue cheese was tossed because I wanted a creamier, milder base. Goat cheese, while creamier, still has a bit of tang to it. The figs needed to be the star, which is how ricotta became the winner.
Finally, I wanted to add another element to the bruschetta to offer more appeal to the palate. My original idea was to add some prosciutto. However, it didn’t work as well as I wanted. It just lacked something. However, toasted pecans added a nice amount of crunch, as well as earthiness, to the final product.
Now, I have my first dried fig recipe to share, and it is pretty amazing, if I do say so myself. If you’re up for some extra kitchen time, I highly recommend making your own ricotta for this. Its creaminess is worth the time and expense, I promise.
Bruschetta with Drunken Figs and Ricotta
- 1/2 cup dried figs
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1/3 cup pecans
- 1 cup ricotta
- 20 baguette slices
Remove stems from figs, and cut into quarters.
Combine wine, sugar, and rosemary in a small saucepan over high heat.
Once boiling, reduce heat to low, and add quartered figs.
Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While figs simmer, preheat the oven to 375.
Chop pecans roughly, and place on a baking sheet.
Bake for 6-10 minutes, giving the pan a shake after 4 minutes.
Transfer pecans to a small serving bowl.
Place baguette slices in oven, and toast for 5 minutes or until golden brown.
When figs are done simmering, remove rosemary.
Transfer all of the figs and some of the liquid to a serving bowl.
To assemble: top 1 baguette slice with a spoonful of ricotta, a few figs, and a sprinkle of pecans.