Sunday, September 10, 2006

Turkish delight

The raspberries, which I like to the point of worshipping them, are getting a rarer sight as summer slowly turns into autumn. But I needn't be sad because the figs have arrived! And I love fresh figs almost as much as raspberries. I bought a box of turkish figs the other day. There were about eight of them, fashionably clad in hues of dark purple and each one tucked in its own little paper cup. I like them chopped up as an addition to my muesli in the morning, cut into quarters with a dollop of vanilla-flavoured heavy cream on the side or simply on their own as a snack. Figs, especially fresh ones, are a very unpretentious and uncomplicated kind: they can be served as dessert but they won't complain about being part of a savoury main course or starter. That's the way I like it. So, the other night, wondering about what to do with a half-empty tub of fresh goat cheese, I made

Goat cheese and fig crostini

I cut one fig into eighths, spread some of the goat cheese on little triangles of brown bread, topped each triangle with a piece of fig and placed them in the oven (220°) for about 7 minutes. I served them sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper to accompany a glass of tawny port. The delicate sweetness of the figs and the tangy goat cheese are a wonderful combination. The goat cheese I used was a fresh, cream-cheese-like variety, but I think a more mature kind would work as well. I'll try that next time, maybe using rounds of an aged crottin de chavignol. I might also serve these with drinks as a substantial apĂ©ritif replacing a starter (I'd make them slightly bigger in that case). This little "trick" comes in especially handy when time is short and the guests are near - saved by the crostini, so to speak.

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