* 1/2 cup dried figs, halved and stemmed
* 1 cup boiling water
* 3/4 cup dry red wine
* 2 tbsp sugar
* 1 bay leaf
* 1/8 tsp kosher salt
* 1 tsp red wine vinegar
* 1 1/2 tsp butter
* 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
* 1 medium red onion, cut into slivers
* 1/2 tsp sugar
* 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
* kosher salt and pepper to taste
* 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
* 1 tbsp olive oil
* 1 tsp heavy whipping cream
* kosher salt and black pepper to taste
* 8 one-inch-thick ciabatta bread slices
* olive oil to coat bread
1. Prepare fig spread: Put figs in a heat-resistant bowl and pour the boiled water into the bowl and let stand for 45 minutes.
Drain figs and place in a saucepan with the wine, sugar, bay leaf, and kosher salt over medium heat, stirring and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until figs are tender and liquid turns to syrup. Add vinegar and cook for one minute longer. Remove from heat and let cool; set aside.
2. Prepare onion spread: Put butter and olive oil in a skillet on medium heat and stir until butter is melted. Add onions, stir and sautÚ about 4 minutes until just soft and starting to brown.
Reduce heat to low, add sugar and vinegar, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir and simmer for 1 minute, until vinegar has almost evaporated. Cool to room temperature; set aside.
3. Prepare ricotta spread: In a bowl, Whisk ricotta cheese, the olive oil, and whipping cream together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
4. Prepare bruschetta: Preheat broiler, adjust height to about 6 inches, and get out broiler pan or cooking sheet. Brush ciabatta bread with a little olive oil on both sides and put on broiler pan. Broil bread slices on both sides until lightly toasted.
5. To assemble: Spread 2 tablespoons of ricotta mixture on each bread slice, then spoon figs along with some of the syrup over the bread.
Top with onion mixture. Drizzle with a little more oil and serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.
This may seem like a lot of work for an appetizer, but it is well worth every minute! The super sweet figs are the perfect complement to the tangy onion and creamy ricotta spreads.
Actually, this is such a filling appetizer, you may want to consider serving it for a special luncheon, such as over the holidays, for a wedding shower, or other occasion.