SnackIshan Jain

Wine Poached Fig and Sheep’s Milk Ricotta Crostini

SnackIshan Jain
Wine Poached Fig and Sheep’s Milk Ricotta Crostini

This is one of my favorite fall hors d’oeuvres because the dried fruit, warm spices and red wine make me think of cold nights, autumn leaves and the holiday season that is fast approaching. You can poach the figs and make the ricotta mixture in advance and assemble the crostini right before your guests arrive, which makes entertaining easy. The fig’s poaching liquid turns into a beautiful, garnet colored syrup and it pairs perfectly with the tangy sheep’s milk ricotta. If you can’t find sheep’s milk ricotta just stir some crumbled goat cheese into whole cow’s milk ricotta and you will achieve a similar result. The figs are also the perfect accompaniment to a pan seared duck breast, venison tenderloin, or even just a wedge of blue cheese and will keep for months in your fridge.

Active Time: 45 minutes
Makes 40

Ingredients

Crostini

1 sweet baguette – I like to leave my baguettes out overnight before making crostini to dry them out a bit. It helps make more even rounds.
½ cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed with the back of a knife
Kosher salt
Pepper

Sheep’s Milk Ricotta

1 12-oz container sheep’s milk ricotta – I use Bellweather Farms*
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup finely grated Pecorino cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch of pepper
*If you can’t find sheep’s milk ricotta use 10-oz whole milk ricotta and 2-oz crumbled goat cheese

Wine Poached Figs

20 dried Black Mission figs, stems removed, cut in half
1½ cups dry red wine
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed with the back of a knife
1 2-inch piece of orange rind, shaved with a vegetable peeler
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 large thyme sprig
1 teaspoon salt

Micro arugula or fresh thyme leaves for garnish

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Crostini

Thinly slice the baguette into 40 ½-inch thick rounds. Pour ½ cup of olive oil into a bowl and add the garlic clove. Stir the oil with your pastry brush.

Place the crostini on two baking sheets and brush the tops with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown, rotating half way through. Cool.

Sheep’s Milk Ricotta

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Spoon the ricotta into a pastry bag or large ziplock baggie and seal, pressing any extra air out. Right before assembling, cut a dime size hole on one of the corners of the baggie.

Wine Poached Figs

Bring figs and remaining ingredients to a boil in a saucepan. Turn the heat down and simmer until the wine has reduced to a syrup, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, transfer to a bowl and let figs cool in syrup. Remove the garlic cloves, orange rind and thyme.

To Serve

Place the crostini on a serving platter. Pipe about 1 tablespoon of ricotta spread onto each crostini. Top each with a fig half and drizzle small spoonfuls of the syrup over the crostini. Garnish with micro arugula or fresh thyme leaves.