Recipe: Fig Flatbread
If you're worrying about or how you can appease your dinner party guests while you run around like a headless chicken in the kitchen trying to make sure your pork cutlets are pounded and your cocktails are mixed, figs are the answer.
They're gorgeous without trying, the perfect size for snacking, and harmonize easily with both savory and sweet flavors. The names alone are alluring - Green Kadota, Black Mission, Calimyrna - I mean, come on - they're the sexiest fruit out there! They're at the peak of their season here in California, but the season is short. Go forth and gather all the figs you can NOW, hear me?
Besides buying every type I can find, cutting them open to show their jeweled insides, and pairing them with salty meats and cheeses, I love to use figs on flatbread. I buy pre-made levain for its thin, light, crunchy ease, but you could also make a homemade focaccia or pizza dough if you're feeling industrious or want something more substantial for a main dish.
Fig Flatbread with Chevre & Reduced Balsamic
Preheat your oven to 375°. On two cookie sheets, lay out 4 sheets of levain flatbread. Sprinkle generously with olive oil and sea salt and use a pastry brush or your fingers to spread the oil to all the corners. If you have some on hand, a generous dusting of za'atar is also a nice touch here.
Pop the flatbreads in the oven and bake for 5 minutes, or until they start to crisp. Don't let them get too brown because they'll be going back into the oven.
While the flatbreads are pre-baking, slice 1 pound of figs into half inch slices. When the flatbreads emerge from the oven, arrange the sliced figs on top and crumble about 6 ounces chevre cheese over the figs. Other cheeses would be great here as well - shredded parmesan, manchego, and feta especially. Use what you have on hand, and don't pay too much attention to measurements.
Return the figged-out flatbreads to the oven and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the figs have softened and the levain is lightly browned on the edges.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Slice into bite-sized pieces an scatter with finely sliced basil and a few squirts of balsamic vinegar reduction (found at most grocery stores or easily made by boiling balsamic until it's 1/4 of its original volume).
Allow someone else to open the wine, and enjoy the ease of your guests stuffing their faces until you're ready for the rest of dinner to emerge!