Have I got your attention yet?
It all started with a bowlful of Californian green figs (grown right here in Seattle) from my next-door neighbor's tree and left on our front porch. You gotta love this street--another neighbor left us a gorgeous bouquet of homegrown dahlias and other flowery goodies recently and if you forgot to buy sesame seeds on your last grocery run, someone nearby will have some for you to borrow a bit.
Recipe adapted from an Australian gem simply called Healthy Eating (published by Bay Books).
Grilled Figs with Ricotta
- 2 T. honey
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 T. flaked almonds
- 4 large or 8 small fresh figs
- 125 g (1/2 c.) low-fat ricotta cheese (but I admit I used full-fat!)
- 1/2 t. vanilla essence
- 2 T. icing (confectioners') sugar, sifted
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 t. finely grated orange zest (I used my microplane grater)
- I also added a splash of lime juice and a pinch of nutmeg to the ricotta mixture
Along with 80 ml (1/3 c.) water, add the honey and cinnamon stick to a small pan and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 6 minutes, or until it's all thickened up and reduced to about half of what it originally was. Turn off the heat, take out the cinnamon stick, and stir in the almonds.
Preheat your grill (broiler). Grease a baking pan and slice the figs into quarters, being careful not to go all the way through and keeping them attached at the base. Put 'em in your baking pan, side by side and ready for some grilling action, baby.
In a smallish bowl, stir up the ricotta with the vanilla, sifted sugar, ground cinnamon, orange zest, lime juice, and pinch of nutmeg. Divvy it up amongst the cute little figgy-wiggies, spooning some syrup with almonds over each one. Broil/grill (watch it carefully!!!) until the almonds are slightly browned (note: I used my camera carefully because a few of my burnt almonds told me they were a bit embarrassed). Cool for a few minutes, spooning over any juices and almonds that are in the bottom of the pan.
Consume and then roll your eyes in taste-bud ecstasy. There's just something special about figs and cheese--a match made in heaven.