Fresh Fig Bites with Ricotta, Pistachios, and Honey Sherry Glaze {Farmer’s Market Friday]

Fresh Fig Bites with Ricotta, Pistachios, and Honey Sherry Glaze are fresh figs topped with ginger-orange ricotta cheese, topped with toasted pistachios and a sherry reduction sweetened with honey.  These bites are simple, fresh, and elegant, and the perfect summer appetizer!

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Welcome to this week’s edition of Farmer’s Market Friday!  Today, I’m featuring a fruit most people either love or hate:  FIGS.

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SOOOOO, which side of the fence are you on — fig lover or hater?  That’s probably a silly question, because if you’re a fig hater, you probably wouldn’t be here reading this post right now.  Maybe, just maybe, you’ve only been exposed to dried figs, as in the Fig Newton variety, and have never had a fresh fig?  If you’re that person, I’m making it my mission today to tempt you to try these luscious, indescribably sweet little gems.  They’re absolutely life changing.

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So what’s so great about fresh figs?  They have this firm skin that, when you bite into it, gives way to the softest, sweetest flesh.  There are little seeds in the pink flesh that are somewhat crunchy, if you will, giving them even more texture than the firm skin.  The figs I used are Mission figs, which have smaller seeds inside.  There are several varieties including Brown Turkey, Calimyrna, and Adriatic, and range in color from light green to dark purple-black.  They’re packed with iron, calcium, and phosphorous, so they’re good for ya, too. 🙂

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I happen to think figs are gorgeous, which is probably why I’m overstuffing this post with photos.  They’re so elegant and photogenic, and really know how to strut their stuff on the cat walk.  Wait…what?

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Maybe they don’t strut down a cat walk, but aren’t they purdy??

I should tell you that I never had fresh figs before about 6 years ago, which was a few months before my grandmother died.  I was sitting with her, and she was eating a basket of figs.  She told me they don’t keep long, and they were really soft and needed to be eaten.  I picked one up and it was SO squishy, and I thought it was the most bizarre fruit I’d ever seen.  I almost didn’t want to eat it.  I did, and while the texture was strange to me at first, boy did they grow on me fast.  Figs are super special to me now because they remind me of my grandmother.  Lord knows I eat enough for her too. 🙂

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One of my first posts on this blog was my Roasted Fig Arugula Salad, and it’s absolutely delicious.  Last year I made a Fig and Arugula Flatbread Pizza, and love, Love, LOVED it.  This year, I wanted to go fresh and fun.  These fig bites are just that — fresh and fun — but they’re also smart, sassy, and sophisticated.  They’re so multifaceted. 🙂

I flavored the ricotta cheese with orange zest, juice, and fresh grated ginger for a nice little zing.  Sure, I could’ve gone with my usual dousing of balsamic glaze, but I was keeping it a little on the lighter side with this honey sherry glaze.  Basically, just reduce 1/2 cup of sherry down to a couple of tablespoons and add 2 teaspoons of honey.  It’s light and delicious, and a nice change from the balsamic.  If you don’t have sherry, you could use sherry or white balsamic vinegar, or get really creative and use whatever else you have.  Or just use honey if you don’t want to deal with it….there’s always that.

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I loved the ricotta cheese here, but you can make this more of a sweet and savory bite by mixing some goat cheese in with the ricotta.  There’s so many ways to go, and they’ll still be so creamy and sweet, with a nice crunch and a sexy little drizzle.  Who can resist that?  I guess a non-fig lover could, but if you’ve made it all the way to the end of this post, chances are you’d like pop a couple of these right now.  They’re life changing, I tellya…life changing. 🙂

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Fresh Fig Bites with Ricotta, Pistachios, and Honey Sherry Glaze {Farmer’s Market Friday]
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Fresh Fig Bites with Ricotta, Pistachios, and Honey Sherry Glaze are fresh figs topped with ginger-orange ricotta cheese, topped with toasted pistachios and a sherry reduction sweetened with honey. These bites are simple, fresh, and elegant, and the perfect summer appetizer!
Serves: 24 fig bites
Ingredients
For the glaze:
  • ½ cup sherry*
  • 2-3 teaspoons honey
For the figs:
  • 12 fresh figs, stemmed and halved lengthwise
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger*
  • ¼ cup chopped, toasted pistachios, for garnish*
Instructions
Prepare the glaze:
  1. Place the sherry in a small non-reactive saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the liquid has thickened and reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the honey, starting with 2 teaspoons. Add the other teaspoon if you'd like the drizzle a bit sweeter. Set aside.
Prepare the figs:
  1. Place the ricotta, honey, orange zest, juice, and ginger in a small bowl and whisk well to combine. Place the figs on a serving platter, then place about ½ teaspoon of the ricotta mixture in the center of each fig, adding a little more or a little less depending on the size. Drizzle a bit of the glaze over each one, and sprinkle with the pistachios. Serve and enjoy!
Notes
The glaze and ricotta filling can be made in advance and stored in the fridge in an air tight container.

*Sherry vinegar, white balsamic, or other alcohol can be substituted for the sherry. You can also just use honey!

*I used pre-toasted pistachios from Trader Joe's. If you'd like to toast your own, place them on a baking sheet in the oven on 350 and toast for 8-10 minutes or until fragrant. Keep a close eye on them as they can burn easily.

*I typically store fresh ginger in the freezer unwrapped. Simply remove from the freezer and grate -- peel and all -- with a Microplane grater.

Recipe by Flavor the Moments.

 

 

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