Our Regional Flavours food tour to Sydney’s southwest market gardens is lovely. One of our stops is at a fig (& prickly pear) farm where we get to explore and experience some absolute delights. There are so many delicious things you can do with figs, savoury or sweet. Even this versatile recipe can be served as a starter or a dessert. Try serving them over fresh greens for an amazing salad, or add vanilla to the ricotta and finish with a sprinkle of toasted walnuts or pistachios for some crunch as a dessert!
150 gm raw sugar
6 thin strips orange rind
¼ cup, plus 1 tbsp water
1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
160 gm fresh ricotta
- Cut a bit off the bottom of each fig if necessary so it sits flat. Cut an “X” vertically down from the top of the fig to about the middle. Place the figs in an ovenproof dish, just large enough to hold them.
- In a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, orange rind and water. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil without stirring until it turns a deep golden caramel colour.
- Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the balsamic and 1 tbsp of water, taking care as you do so, as the mixture will spit violently.
- Return the pan to the heat and stir until the mixture is smooth. Pour over and into the figs.
- Spoon 1 tbsp of ricotta into the centre of each fig. Press the sections together a bit to push the ricotta onto the flesh.
- Bake at 180C for 10-15 minutes or until the figs are just warmed through. Carefully transfer the warm figs to shallow bowls. Spoon the remaining balsamic caramel from the baking dish over them. Serve immediately.