From Chelsea Rinnig. Email her at chelsea[AT]borderstan.com
After weeks of arguing with my better judgment, watching with envy as market patrons sold vendors out of this candied fruit, I finally lost the battle against my finances and self-control. I couldn’t help but cave and buy a teensy half pint of figs last weekend at the farmers market. Let me tell you though: after using them in this recipe, every penny was worth it.
The recipe below was not only well thought-out for days, but carefully researched and I am happy with the results. Figs are decadent, rich, and sweet. Many recipes balance this with salty flavor combinations like prosciutto or a salty bleu or parmesan cheese in appetizer dishes. Better yet, use the sweetness to your advantage and make a fig tart or sorbet. Just be sure, when you do buy your figs, to use them quickly: they only last a day or two in the fridge and are incredibly delicate.
I lack the patience for baking, so this recipe is a great appetizer or snack. Though the majority of my recipes tend to be healthy and easily vegetarian, this one splurges a little bit with cheese and fresh French bread. All the ingredients can be found at your local farmers market, though, so live a little and enjoy!
Fall Fig Toasts
Makes approximately 10 toasts
- Half-pint fresh figs (about 8), stems removed and quartered.
- Half a loaf of fresh French bread
- Low fat goat cheese
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- One large shallot
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- Fresh ground pepper
- Handful of arugula
- Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Slice French bread into at minimum one-inch thick pieces and spread a thin layer of goat cheese over each slice. Arrange onto a baking sheet.
- Depending on size, place 2 or 3 fig slices onto each toast. Sprinkle tops with a dash of pepper and walnut pieces. Place in the oven to toast on the top rack for 8-10 min.
- While these are cooking, slice shallot into thin rounds. Heat a frying pan at medium heat and let shallots simmer in balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. Allow the liquids to reduce by half until you have a thicker sauce and completely softened shallots (about 10 minutes).
- Remove toasts from the oven when the bread is crisped and walnuts are slightly browned. Use tongs to top each toast with the shallots.
- Add arugula, drizzle with reduction sauce and serve.