I am very comfortable with my long standing dried fig addiction – they are incredibly good for you. These ancient fruits have the highest mineral content of all the common fruits and are high in fibre. That said, not many of us get to eat fresh figs that often. They have a short season, are highly perishable and don’t transport well. For that reason, if you are lucky enough to have fresh figs on hand they deserve to be treated with respect and be made to feel special!
My mum has a fig tree, so I was duly presented with a selection of small, delicate green figs.These do not keep very well at room temperature, but will last a few days in the fridge. It is said that as they border on over-ripeness their antioxidant benefits will be at their peak.
Fruity desserts aren’t a favourite in my family so rather than make my figs into a spoonable dessert I came up with these lovely toasts that I would serve alongside a chunk of hard cheddar, or maybe a piece of blue cheese, some dried pears and oaty crackers on a cheese board with a port or a coffee.
Fig, Spiced Ricotta and Honey Toasts
- 4 – 6 fresh, ripe figs
- 1 fresh baguette
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons runny honey
- 2 tablespoons fresh ricotta
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- few drops of vanilla essence
Slice baguette into 1 cm rounds, slightly on an angle for larger pieces if your baguette is small. Toast each side briefly under the grill until slightly golden and toasty.
Halve the fresh figs, place cut side up on a grill dish and sprinkle with a little brown sugar. Place under the grill for approximately 5 minutes until the brown sugar has melted and the figs are softened.
Combine the ricotta with the cinnamon and vanilla.
Assemble the toasts with a small spoonful of ricotta, topped with a fig half and drizzled with runny honey. Serve warm.