Fig preserves with ricotta and prosciutto is perhaps the easiest “fancy” tapa there is. In my proverbial book, there is nothing more convenient than a tapa that requires little or no prep work. No stress, no mess, no fuss!!! Now we are talking. Let me put it this way: if you can toast bread, spread jam and pull things out of your fridge, this is for you!!
Picture this: a crunchy slice of toasted baguette, the sweetness of fig preserves topped with a dollop of creamy ricotta and crowned with a delicious piece of prosciutto. Now this is pure heaven. Hey, pass me a glass of Chianti! The contrasting textures and flavors of this tapas dish will make your taste buds jump for joy.
Now in the event that you are feeling ambitious or adventurous, or both, you can make your own ricotta. It is really not that hard. All you need is milk and an acid to break the protein in the milk into curds and whey. No Miss Muffet isn’t here! I normally use lemon juice or vinegar. More on that later. At this point I would also like to add that not all prosciutto are created equal since regional differences abound. More on that to come too. I am looking for a prosciutto expert to interview. If you know of one, give me a shout.
Figs are a fruit from the mulberry family, and according to anthropologists figs are the earliest recorded fruit eaten by humans. Excavations in neolithic site of Asia Minor and the Middle East have turned up remains of figs. In some ancient cultures figs were regarded as sacred; the reason for this being that they were a source of food for long journeys. Figs could be dried effectively and did not spoil, thus providing the traveler with adequate sustenance. Figs are great eaten fresh. They are sweet and juicy and oh so tasty.
As a side note, in art history, there is something called the “fig leaf campaign”; a movement towards covering up the nudity in the figures of Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Just though you might want to know!
This recipe was borrowed from Williams Sonoma Appetizer Cookbook.
Fig Preserves with Ricotta and Prosciutto
Here is a simple appetizer you can put together very quickly when you have to entertain and don't have much time. Simply toast your crostini and add the other ingredients for an elegant tapas type dish.
- 1/2 loaf French baguette toasted sliced thin
- 2 oz prosciutto thin slices cut in half, 1 per crostini
- 1 cup Ricotta
- 1 cup fig preserves
- 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper sprinkled lightly on top
- Spread about 1 Tbsp. of fig preserves on each slice of toasted baguette.
- Top with a dollop of Ricotta and lightly pat down to spread on the preserves.
- Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper.
- Take each half of the prosciutto slice and fold in half.
- Place prosciutto on top of ricotta.