Appetizers & Dips

Goat Feta Crostinis with Caramelized Figs

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This is the stuff appetizer dreams are made of: that delectable crunch and the right balance of sweet & salty comes together just perfectly with each bite. Not entirely sure how it will taste? All you have to do is try it! I’m a very visual person, I joke that “I eat with my eyes”. Food must look good for me to want to try it… Unless it’s chocolate. Chocolate doesn’t need to look good. I will eat chocolate even if it appears to be in a deplorable, near decrepit state. Anyone else with me?

What I love about these delicious appetizers is that they’re incredibly good, they add sophistication to your table, are just so easy to make & don’t require a puzzling list of ingredients. The figs are roasted in a good ol’ mix of butter, honey, & a pinch of cinnamon. Yes, I do consume grass fed butter despite the fact I avoid most forms of cow dairy. If butter is not your thing, or if you follow a vegan diet: you may substitute with coconut or olive oil. But they won’t taste nearly as good! Just a thought.

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Figs & I have had a love/hate relationship throughout the years. The hate part was mostly founded on my intense despise for fig newton cookies. Yes, they were the beginning of the so-called “90’s Healthy Snack Wave”. Snacks made healthy (seemingly so). My grandmother would store packages upon packages of these cookies. Every time I asked her for a snack she would say, “Here, have a fig cookie, it’s good for you”. If you ask me, fig newtons are gross. My views remain largely unchanged 20 years later.

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As any good Middle Eastern expat, my grandmother had a little fig tree in her backyard. The tree was somehow always dying and we (her grandchildren) would poke fun at her endless attempts to prompt it up by tying a broomstick, revive it, change the soil, etc. The tree had wires coming out of it in every possible direction. That fig tree was always on life support. It didn’t even look like a tree anymore. And every time I would visit, she would lead me outside by the hand to the tree and show me “how well the little tree is doing and taking to the land.” I now (finally) get it. The fig tree was a sense of her cultural identity. An attempt to recreate her childhood backyard in the place she now called home thousands & thousands of miles away. It wasn’t about the fig tree. It was about a figment of home.

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Goat Feta Crostinis with Caramelized Figs

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 6-8 small fresh figs
  • 200 grams of goat feta or goat cheese (roughly about the size of a closed fist)
  • 1 tbsp of grass-fed butter (I love “Rolling Meadow Dairy”!)
  • 1 tbsp of fresh, raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • Rye or sourdough bread- I love to use both ends of the loaf (as they’re smaller than the middle) for this purpose. I usually grab the first 4 slices at the top & the last 4 slices from the bottom.
  • Fresh mint leaves for garnish

Instructions

  1. Turn the oven to 350F & line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Rinse the figs with water & pat dry. Slice each fig into 4 vertical slices. First cut downward through the middle. And then cut each half again into two.
  3. Melt the butter in a bowl, whisk in the honey & cinnamon.
  4. Dip the figs in the bowl with the mixture. Toss well.
  5. Place the figs on the baking sheet & bake for approximately 15 mins.
  6. While the figs are baking, you may slightly toast the rye or sourdough bread or serve it fresh. If you are toasting it- make sure your guests have arrived already. You don’t want it to harden by the time they eat it.
  7. Layer the bread with the goat feta or goat cheese. I like to use a fork to press it into a paste.
  8. Remove the figs from the oven & allow to cool slightly.
  9. Place them over the cheese & garnish with fresh mint.
  10. You’re all done, enjoy!

fig toast recipe