I've been dreaming about figs since last weekend at Savor the Central Coast, when I got to meet the folks from Thomas Hill Organics in Paso Robles who grow 11 varieties! (They even have a green and yellow striped one, the Panache Tiger Stripe fig—amazing.) So when I stepped into the Sunset garden and saw one end of our espallied Calimyrna fig tree loaded with ripe fruit, I knew I had to make a fresh fig recipe. 


Calimyrna figs in the Sunset garden. You can tell from the cracks in the center fruit—not to mention the juice coming out the bottom—that it's dead ripe.

When figs are this good, I like to use them raw to show them off and really appreciate their sweetness and luscious texture. We had some pancetta in the fridge—that saltiness is always an excellent contrast to sweet fruit—and some Muscat wine, which cooked down nicely to a syrup with caramelized shallots. Adds some toasts and a little mascarpone, and you've got quite the snazzy little appetizer. 

Fig and pancetta bruschetta

3 oz. diced pancetta

1 large shallot, minced

1 cup Muscat wine

3 nutmeg geranium leaves (optional; I had some, so why not add a little spiciness!)

Baguette toasts

Mascarpone cheese

Sliced or quartered fresh figs

Brown the pancetta in a medium frying pan, then transfer it to paper towels. Caramelize the shallot in the pancetta fat, add the wine and geranium leaves, and boil until it cooks down to a syrup. Spread baguette toasts with mascarpone. Top with figs, a drizzle of shallot syrup, and pancetta.


Fig and pancetta bruschetta


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