I recently made grilled figs with creamy honeyed ricotta and almonds from The Ranch cookbook, Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho Puerta by Deborah Szekely, Deborah Schneider and Robert Holmes. I served the figs at a daytime pool party and everyone loved them! It’s a simple dish to make and a perfect summer snack or dessert. Here is the recipe and an excerpt from the book:
The green-skinned, pink-fleshed mission figs that grow throughout the Baja California region were one of the four historical gifts (figs, wheat, grapes, and olives) planted at every settlement by Spanish missionaries in the eighteenth century. The missions are long gone, but the figs still thrive in the arid heat, offering shade throughout the hot summers and sweet fruit to eat fresh or to dry in the sun.
Cook the figs while you are enjoying dinner, either on the grill for a smoky-sweet flavor or wrapped in foil and cooked in the last of the embers. Apricots, plums, nectarines, and peaches are also great cooked in this matter.
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup cream cheese
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or anise – or fruit-flavored liquor, or a combination of the two (optional)
- 18 ripe figs
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup toasted almonds
- In a blender or food processor, puree the ricotta, cream cheese, honey, lemon juice, and vanilla, if desired, until perfectly smooth. Taste and add more honey or vanilla to taste–the cream should have lots of flavor. For the finest texture, press the cream through a fine-mesh sieve.
- Clean the figs with a dampened paper towel, pat dry, and rub with the olive oil. Skewer and grill over medium heat for three minutes, or until heated though and lightly roasted. If you prefer, the figs may be wrapped in foil packets and cooked, turning several times, over the flames or tucked in the coals. This will take about five minutes.
- Split almonds in half and top with 1 tablespoon of the Honeyed Ricotta. Serve warm with a few almonds scattered on each plate. Serves 6.
Note: For a thick, creamier texture, add up to 1/4 cup more cream cheese.