Fresh Figs with Ricotta and Honey

Fresh figs are paired with luscious ricotta cheese, dulcet honey, and pistachio crumbs in this decadent but healthy starter. It works equally well as dessert.

We feel fresh figs are worth celebrating—or at least doing a happy dance over—each time we spy them, given how short their season and how utterly irresistible some of us find the unspeakably sweet fruit. But fresh figs alone, while stunning if savored by just you in the kitchen, isn’t exactly what you want to serve guests. Enter this easy, elegant little something that we think would be lovely in any of many slightly different incarnations. We wouldn’t mess with the honey. But we can see the fresh figs topped with, say, with crushed or chopped almonds in place of pistachios. Or maybe even uber expensive Marconas. We can also imagine a little chopped chocolate, whether milk or dark, finding its way into the ricotta that gets tucked into those plump, velvety fresh figs punctuated by a bazillion seeds and dribbled with an indecent amount of honey. Or not. And if we really get to thinking, we can almost imagine the fresh figs not stuffed with ricotta or dribbled with honey but cloaked in Nutella. But we digress….

Serves 4 to 6

fresh figsIngredients

8 fresh figs

1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese

1/4 cup shelled pistachios, chopped

4 tablespoons honey or agave nectar, plus more to taste

4 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped



1. Using a sharp knife, split each fig down the middle from the top (tapered stem end) to the bottom (plump broad end), but without cutting all the way through the fig (stop about 1/4 inch from the bottom of the fig).

2. Using the tip of a teaspoon, fill the split center of each fig with a generous dollop of ricotta.

3. Scatter the pistachios in a shallow bowl or on a small plate. Drizzle the honey on a small plate. Gently grasp each fig without squeezing it and dip its bottom first in the honey, then in the pistachios. Arrange the figs on a large plate or serving platter. Drizzle the figs with additional honey to taste and sprinkle with the fresh mint. Serve as soon as you can (as if you could resist doing anything else).

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