Baked Figs with Smoked Salt, Ricotta & Crispy Bacon
Nothing could make me happier after returning from a tough time of culinary delights in Europe (so rough!), than to return to my kitchen with oddles of food items from our travels and to think up and cook new dishes.
Well, one thing could make me happier, and that is the now, back-in-season fig! Bless its sweet heart. You may know how much I adore their plush purple flesh, bodies with just the right amount of give when ripe. Here’s some proof: Indulgent Fig & Dolce Mascarpone Salad and Figs Featured on a Tapas board, I attended a weekend Cookery Class because figs were part of the theme and Passion Fruit and Dried Fig Semifreddo.
So, while contemplating how I was going to use the delicate squid ink vermicelli, salts, unusual rices, dried mushrooms, tinned anchovies and the hoard of really lovely chocolate (oh, that required much deep and meaningful contemplation), as well as relate the culinary tales of trotting and discovery, I needed an afternoon snack.
Step in, plump ripe figs, sweet and succulent, sprinkled with Spanish pepper smoked salt, extra virgin olive oil, a blob of fresh ricotta cheese, baked and then topped with crispy bacon bits.
Served warm, this makes the perfect and easy-as-pie appetiser or brunch dish.
2 rashers dried cured bacon or pancetta
6 ripe (but not over-ripe) figs
6 x 5ml ricotta cheese
smoked salt, to taste
extra virgin olive oil, to dress
Spray n cook/grease a baking sheet and pre-heat the oven to 200˚ Celsius, adjust rack to one of the highest shelves.
Place bacon on tray and grill till it crisps, turning once, 5-8 minutes.
Remove, cool slightly and dice finely.
Lower rack to middle shelf.
Score the figs with a star, till half way down the body. Stuff one teaspoon (5 ml) ricotta into each opening.
Place figs on same tray that you grilled bacon on. Turn heat of oven down to 190˚Celsius.
Sprinkle smoked salt and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 10- 15 minutes, until figs soften, but still hold their shape (can be messy and awkward to eat if they fall apart, but no less delicious).
Dress with a little more olive oil and serve warm