As you can imagine, I tend to make a lot of bread. And while most of it gets eaten gladly, there are times when the bread box is filled with loaves that have gone stale. I never find it too hard to be creative when it comes to ‘old’ bread; french toast always works, and bread pudding, and bruschetta. While I love a traditional take on bruschetta, I decided to change things up a bit by making something with fall flavors; so I took off the tomatoes and added figs.
Figs are in season just a little longer, and my fridge has been filled with them for weeks now. I tend to snatch them up and then cook them down, making a compote that can be used in a variety of ways. The sweetness of this compote combined with the prosciutto and blue cheese makes for such a flavorful bite. And, if the compote is made ahead of time, this can be put together in mere minutes, making this a simple and delicious afternoon lunch.
Bruschetta with fig compote
Stale bread, sliced
Fig compote (recipe follows)
blue cheese and/or mozzarella
thyme and/or basil
Preheat the oven broiler.
Place the stale, sliced bread on a sheet pan, and brush with a bit of olive oil. Drizzle the bread with the fig compote liquid, and place a few of the fig pieces on each slice. Layer desired toppings over the compote, and place the sheet pan under the broiler. Let broil until the edges are golden brown and the mozzarella (if using) is melted and starting to brown in spots, about 4-7 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with fresh herbs and/or blue cheese, if desired.
fig compote, prosciutto, and thyme
fig compote, mozzarella, and basil
fig compote, blue cheese, and thyme
Makes about 1 cup
1/2 pound fresh, black mission figs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons honey
good pinch of salt
Preheat your oven’s broiler.
Cut the stems off the figs and then slice them into quarters.
Add the butter, brown sugar, and honey to a broiler safe pan (cast iron works nice). Cook over high heat for a minute or so, stirring frequently until syrup begins to bubble. Add the figs and stir them, coating them well with the syrup.
Place your pan under the broiler; this will caramelize the figs. Broil for about 5 minutes, swirling the pan a few times to keep the sugar from burning (make sure to use an oven mitt). The figs are done when the syrup has slightly thickened and is amber in color, and the edges of the figs are turning dark. Remove the pan and serve the figs warm.
Hey, late-breaking news: On October 23, 2013, at Cooks of Crocus Hill, St. Paul MN, Jeff and Zoe will be teaching a baking class to introduce new recipes and techniques from our new book. You can register for the class on-line or call 651.228.1333 for details. After class, the authors will stick around to talk and sign books (Cooks will be stocking all of our books). See you in St. Paul!