Saturday, September 24, 2011

Caramelized Figs and Fromage Blanc

Figs and Fromage Blanc (1 of 1)

Figs seem to be everywhere in Paris, and I don't just mean the fresh kind. They don't seem to be as exotic here, or as ignored. As evinced by the fact that you can find them as the fruit in the bottom of yogurts that don't even bill themselves as gourmet and in jams that you might stumble on in any old store. Of course, nothing really compares to a fresh fig, and the season is fleeting.

Figs and Fromage Blanc 2 (1 of 1)

I found this recipe on The Kitchn and it met all of my Paris apartment requirements: healthy, fresh, easy, requiring only a pan and a burner and not much else. I substituted out nearly every ingredient, but still kept very much to the spirit of the recipe. Thyme in for rosemary, fromage blanc for yogurt (more on fromage blanc later), chopped and toasted almonds in for the pistachios. But the figs are what's important.

Figs (1 of 1)

And speaking of toasting nuts, you can do that right on a stove top as well, no oven required. Just warm a dry pan and toss the chopped nuts right in, no oil necessary. It's called, predictably, dry toasting. You have to watch them and stir occasionally because they can go from raw to burnt quickly.

figs (1 of 1)

After caramelizing for a bit in the honey, the figs get layered on the fromage blanc, with the extra honey drizzled over the top along with a little olive oil. A sprinkling of chopped nuts and sea salt finishes it off. And there you have it, breakfast or a quick snack.

Fromage Blanc with Caramelized Figs
Adapted from this recipe on The Kitchn

2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
6 figs, stems trimmed and then cut in half
8 ounces fromage blanc (or use plain or lightly sweetened yogurt if you can't get fromage blanc)
Handful of chopped almonds, dry toasted (see above)
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Sea salt to taste

Heat the honey and thyme in a skillet over medium-low heat. When warm and getting runny, add the figs cut-side down. Cook the figs for about 3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2.

Scoop the yogurt into two bowls, place the fig halves on top, then drizzle the remaining honey from the pan over the figs, along with a little olive oil. Sprinkle the almonds and sea salt over the top and serve.

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