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It's FIG-alicious!

La Vie Piquant

La vie piquant—the spicy life!  Everyday is filled with “piquant” moments that are pleasantly stimulation of exciting to the mind.  Whether it is in the form of food, style, design, love, entertaining, or any other inspiring idea or tangible object, “it” should be celebrated!  Here I will be sharing with you simple, beautiful, realistic, doable, and truly re-creatable recipes, entertaining ideas, and home décor pizzazz that will help you interject a little bit of “piquant” into your life – after all, we only live once.  Join me in living la vie piquant!

It's FIG-alicious!

Marc J. Sievers

Like many of you, I have been enjoying farmer's markets all summer!  This time of year Black Mission Figs are just about everywhere.  They have a very delicate texture, small crunchy seeds, a sweet-earthy flavor, and a vibrant pink-colored interior.   I recently wrote a recipe for BlendAbout.com highlighting these delicious figs in my Fig & Stilton Salad recipe.  The response was so great that I wanted to write two more recipes showcasing this beautiful fruit and very similar ingredients, showing you how layering ingredients in different ways can create a whole new dish!

Since I love rustic and earthy food I wanted to create a bruschetta with figs.  I started out with some of my favorite ingredients like baguette, basil, and Spanish onions.  After a few rounds of testing (and eating!), my recipe for Rustic Fig Bruschetta was finished!  It’s loaded with caramelized onions, garlic, Stilton, figs, and some other lip-smacking ingredients!

Next, I wanted to create a canapé that would be perfect for a summer cocktail soirée with champagne, of course!  Since the interior of a fig is so beautiful, I wanted to showcase both the color and texture.  I always keep my favorite black pepper water crackers on hand, and I knew instantly that I wanted to balance the slightly spicy cracker with a bit of sweetness and fresh flavors.  My Fresh Fig Canapé is both visually beautiful and flavorful, it’s sure to be a smash (darling) at your next gathering.

I hope my recipes for Fig & Stilton Salad, Rustic Fig Bruschetta, and Fresh Fig Canapé show you that it only takes a few fresh and quality ingredients to prepare beautiful, elegant, and simple dishes!  Next week I have some FABULOUS breakfast dishes to share with you!  How does Orange Custard French Toast and Orange Summer Pound Cake with Dark Chocolate Glaze sound?!  See you in a week!  Sending love from my kitchen to yours!


Rustic Fig Bruschetta

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • Spanish onion – 1 ½ cups, thinly sliced
  • Olive Oil – 2 tablespoons, divided
  • Butter – 2 tablespoon, unsalted
  • Sugar – 1 teaspoon, granulated
  • Garlic – 4 cloves, roughly chopped
  • Sea Salt – ¼ teaspoon
  • Black Pepper – ½ teaspoon, freshly cracked
  • Black Mission Figs – 5 medium, cut ¼-inch thick
  • Honey – 1 tablespoon
  • Demi baguette – cut in half length-wise
  • Basil – ¼ cup, freshly chopped
  • Stilton – 1/3 cup, crumbled

Directions

  1. Start by heating the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a 12-inch sauté pan set over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the onions, and cook for 20-22 minutes or until the onions are very tender and caramelized.
  3. Next, add the salt, pepper, sugar, and garlic and cook for an additional minute, being very careful not to burn the garlic.  Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Preheat the broiler.
  5. Using the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, evenly butter each cut-side of the baguette.  Place prepared baguette onto a baking sheet.
  6. Place under the broiler and cook until golden brown on top, about 2 to 4 minutes.
  7. Remove from the broiler and set aside.
  8. Lastly, layer each half of the baguette with the onion mixture, cut figs, and Stilton.  Evenly drizzle with honey.
  9. Place under the broiler again, until the cheese is nicely melted, about 1 to 3 minutes.  The edges of the bread can burn easily, so make sure to keep your eye on it.
  10. Lastly, remove from the broiler and top with fresh basil.
  11. Cut into large pieces and serve immediately.

Fresh Fig Canapé

Ingredients (serves 10 - three per person)

  • Black Mission Figs – 8 medium, cut ¼-inch thick
  • Stilton – ½ -inch sized crumbles, 30 total pieces
  • Basil – 30 small fresh leaves
  • Dark Chocolate – 1/3 cup, freshly grated
  • Black Pepper Water Crackers – 30 (plain water crackers will also work)
  • Black Pepper – for garnish, freshly cracked
  • Honey Comb – ½-inch sized pieces, 30 total (regular honey will also work)

Directions

  1. Simply layer each cracker with a slice of fig, a piece of Stilton, a piece of honey comb, a basil leaf, a small pinch of black pepper, and top with a sprinkling of dark chocolate.
  2. Arrange on a silver platter or flat board.
  3. Expand recipe as needed.