“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” ~ Harriet Van Horne
Figs are beautiful little jewels, also considered a forbidden fruit, which indicates what an indulgent, pleasure enhancing young fruit this is. The Bible notes that Adam and Eve made their leaf clothing from fig leaves (Source: Wikipedia). The symbolism of figs are suggestive of knowledge, fertility, indulgence and last but not least, it’s versatility.
Figs can be used to make a fancy snack or hors d’oeuvres – the options are endless. For today’s tea party, I am using dried figs – this means you can make this at any time of the year.
This bruschetta consists of fig paste, goat cheese, multigrain bread, and a few spring onions for colour. This is the perfect mini appetizer for a dinner party or like in my case, a tea party.
Why I like this more for an afternoon tea party is that, it’s healthy, the sweetness of the fig goes well with English tea, and is filling enough for a 4PM snack. And most importantly, it looks real fancy!
Whenever I have my parents come over, I am nervous wreck – they have high standards and even higher expectations from me – the house must be spic and span, the crockery pretty, food exceptional and they are my hardest critics. My mum is a fantastic cook, so trying to impress is no easy feat.
To further my agony, my father was fasting. How cruel is it to serve fancy food to a man who lives to eat?
But this fig paste can be had while fasting – as it is made up of dried figs, some orange and a pinch of salt. I cut thin strip of apple, spread a bit of the paste, and a piece of pistachio – and it’s ready. Mind you, the apple part is tricky – I rolled a few strips up with the paste and fastened with a toothpick, but failed miserably after three strips. So then I cut slightly thicker strips and served them as open sandwiches on apple.
This fig paste can be used in sandwiches with a salty cheese, a slice of apple and onions. An Indian version of fig paste with cardamom and saffron can be used to stuff puris and deep fried in rich ghee.
Food Fact: Fresh figs are best eaten whole (with skin) when fully ripened – this is when it reaches its’ optimum anti-oxidants level.
You can make the fig paste ahead of time and it stays well in the fridge for a week. I used multigrain sliced bread, but you are welcome to use any kind of bread or pre-cut bruschetta bread.
I use very little goat cheese as it has a very strong pungent taste. However, if you choose a lighter cheese like feta, you can use more for the taste.