I think this year was the first time I stopped by the farmer’s market, saw figs and actually wanted to buy them. I know, I know. It seems crazy that something so sweet, delicious, and versatile wouldn’t have made it onto my shopping list before, but I just didn’t know how to eat them. Growing up in the generation of the fig newton (which, if I’m being totally honest, was never my treat of choice as a child), I always thought of them as something to be eaten only inside of a bar or cookie, never raw and fresh like they are in this delicious recipe from Contigo Catering. Thankfully, my mind and my taste buds have been swayed to the fig-lover side and now I cannot get enough of nature’s fall candy. When I saw this recipe from Contigo Catering, I knew it was exactly what I want to contribute to every party and get-together for the rest of the season. With the holiday season in full-swing, I think this appetizer will be the perfect way to change-up your typical cheese, cracker and fruit platter. The dish combines mascarpone and ricotta cheese with figs and almonds on top of homemade lavash bread, and then gets a healthy drizzle of balsamic reduction over top. Talk about delectable! Make this for any dinner party in the coming months and your guests will surely be wishing for a return invitation. See Contigo Catering’s Zucchini with Roasted Tomatoes and Arugula recipe here and their Deviled Eggs with Brisket and Herbs recipe here.
Photos by Kate LeSueur
- 1 Qt Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour + extra for dusting
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 egg white
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 egg whites, beaten
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1/8 cup chives, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/8 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 12 fresh figs, halved
- Almond oil, for drizzling
- Reduce balsamic: In a large saucepan, add the balsamic and bring to a boil on a stove. Once boiling turn the heat to low and simmer until the vinegar is syrupy, about 30 minutes. Chill and reserve.
- Prepare the lavash: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar & salt. Add water, 1 egg white and melted butter. Mix to a stiff dough and knead the dough with your hands until smooth. On a floured surface, roll the dough out paper thin. Turn a baking sheet upside down. Lay the dough over the tray, brush the dough with the beaten egg whites and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Bake in the oven for 10 -12 minutes. Let cool and reserve.
- Make the cheese mixture: In a mixing bowl, add the ricotta, mascarpone and chives. Season with salt, as desired. Mix together with a spoon or a whisk until smooth.
- Assemble. Break the lavash into 24 bite sized pieces. Spread some of the cheese mixture onto each piece of lavash, add the almonds, top with a fig and drizzle with reduced balsamic & almond oil.
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