On Friday, I was going to a girlfriend's house for wine and girl time and was looking for a morsel as tasty as the gossip would be. And I was feeling decadent... this is not new for me. An extensive cruise through the interweb lead me to this little gem from Bon Appetit.
Crostini with Figs, Robiola Cheese and Pistachio Oil
First, I must apologize for the agressive "brownness" of my photo. I think we are all comfortable admitting that you come here for my writing and NOT for my photography skills. But this one is definitely worth sharing, despite its brownness. Below is the Bon Appetit recipe, with my two cents interjected in green.
12 slices ciabatta bread (Sliced as thin as your knife skills allow.)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar (I only had white wv. That was fine.)
2 tablespoons sugar
6 dried figs
2 tablespoons pistachios, toasted and shelled (Pistachios at a certain organic grocery store were very expensive for a container of way too many. So I bought a snack-sized pack at a drug store. Hello, resourceful.)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Robiola cheese (Man alive, the Robiola..)
Combine vinegar, sugar, and dried figs with 1/4 cup water in a saucepan; bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let sit until figs soften, about 30 minutes. (Since I was bringing the components to my friend's house to assemble there, I put the figs and liquid in a container and let them relax in the car with some good music.)
Halve the pickled figs lengthwise. (Hey, cut off that little nubbin, too. Nobody wants that.)
Finely crush pistachios and combine with extra-virgin olive oil.
Grill bread slices. (It was a very rainy night, so instead of grilling the bread, I brushed it with olive oil and baked. Not as good, but a fine alternative.)
Smear room-temperature Robiola cheese onto warm toasts. Top with halved figs. Drizzle with pistachio oil. (I used an obscene amount of Robiola.)
These little babies were flavorful and rich and a giant hit... especially when served with my friend's family wine. And the bonus was the extra pistachio oil. I mixed a teaspoon full with balsamic vinegar for a nutty, complex salad dressing tonight. I continue to look for ways to use that wonderful stuff...