I’ve travelled just enough to know that here in the UK we don’t get sent the best fruit. I’m not blaming anyone – if you have the sun it’s reasonble that you also get the pick of the fruit. But I’ve seen enough Mediterranean markets to know that we get sent second pickings. I wouldn’t bother – our homegrown brit-fruit is delicious – but in the hungry gap at this time of year I crave a bit of variety and start to look around at what’s organic and hasn’t travelled across too many borders to get here. Hence these slightly too hard figs.
A little warmth brought them out of their skin a little and softened them up quite enough to make a decent breakfast, squidged onto ricotta-spread toast. It’s as streamlined a breakfast to prepare as you could wish for; a portion each of fruit, dairy and decent quality low GI carbohydrate in the time it takes to make toast and jam. It’s super quick because the toast and fruit both go under the grill (broiler) together, which saves washing up too.
I’ve had good results with gently warming under-ripe pears, plums, nectarines and peaches in this way too. It won’t save terrible fruit, but works for those that are just a little bit jet lagged or unyielding. Thin slivers of apple could also work without the grilling, and in the summer mushed up raspberries on ricotta and toast eaten in the garden is a fine way to start the day. If you really want to bring a taste of Italy to your breakfast you’ll not regret investing in a tiny pot of Honey Miele di Tartufo which in our house adds truffle-scented enchantment to anything it touches.
Recipe for Figs and ricotta on toast
Works with most softish (but not soggy) fruits. Forgiving too - they don't need to be perfectly ripe.
A spoonful of ricotta
A slice of decent bread (granary, sourdough)
Good clear honey to drizzle
Put the grill on to warm up. Slice the figs into segments (not too thick).
Put both sliced figs and the toast under the grill. When you turn the toast, turn the figs.
Slather the ricotta onto the toast and top with the warm figs. Drizzle over just a touch of honey.