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Crostini with Fresh Figs & Ricotta

My figs are slowly ripening on the tree – no it’s not a metaphor, at least not yet I hope, but more a signal from my garden that warmer weather is making a dependable appearance.
Fun fact: 
It is reported that figs first appeared some 11,400 years ago thereby making them one of the earliest domesticated crops.

So with ‘gate to plate’ food miles being only a few steps away for me – or for you as close as the Nelson Market every Saturday, it’s time to contemplate delicious summer picnic snacks such as our Crostini with Fresh Figs.


Crostini with Fresh Figs, Ricotta and Balsamic Reduction

Ingredients:

  • Fresh baguette
  • Fresh figs
  • Whole milk ricotta (see the Nelson Market tasting notes below)
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar (check there are no additives or colorings)

Directions:

Make crostini:  Place oven rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice baguette into thin, diagonal slices.
Spread slices on ungreased baking sheet and toast until lightly brown, turning once. (5-10 minutes)

Make balsamic reduction:  Place balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Put over low heat and simmer. Reduce until slightly syrupy – do not over-reduce as it will thicken further as it cools.
Be careful not to put over high heat or it will taste scorched.
You can place any extra in a squeeze bottle and store in the refrigerator for use later on the bbq.
Note: You will need to let it come back to room temperature before using.

Assemble:  Slice figs in half. Take one crostini, slather with ricotta. Tuck fresh fig half in ricotta.
Arrange on platter. Drizzle balsamic reduction over crostini and serve!

What Does Ricotta Cheese Taste Like?
Fresh ricotta has a mild, slightly nutty flavor. Its thick and creamy in texture with tiny concentrated granules.
Due to its neutral flavor, ricotta works well in both sweet and savory dishes.

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