Croutons with ricotta, figs and honey
- 300 ml (1 1/4 cups) water
- 1 Earl Grey tea bag
- 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) dried figs
- 30 ml (2 tbsp) grapeseed oil
- 1 small onion, minced
- 100 ml (2/5 cup) honey
- 200 ml (4/5 cup) sherry vinegar
- 2 cloves
- 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) ground ginger
- 1 ml (1/4 tsp) ground nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 or half a load of nut bread (or other bread)
- 310 ml (1 1/4 cups) ricotta cheese
- 9 fresh figs
- 400 g (13 oz) prosciutto, thinly sliced
- A few baby arugula leaves
- Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Turn off the heat.
- Add the tea bag and infuse for 2 minutes.
- Remove the tea bag and add the dried figs.
- Soak the figs for about 15 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool. Reserve the water.
- Cut the figs into 1 cm (1/3 in.) pieces and reserve.
- In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Cook the onion for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add 45 ml (3 tbsp) of the reserved water and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the honey, vinegar, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Cook over very low heat for 1 hour 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
- Cut the bread into 1 cm (1/3 in.) slices.
- Place the bread on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Set aside to cool.
- Place the ricotta cheese in a bowl.
- Add the cooled chutney and mix well.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning. Set aside.
- Cut the fresh figs into quarters.
- Cut the prosciutto slices in half lengthwise.
- Wrap each piece of fig with the prosciutto.
- Place 1 or 2 arugula leaves on each crouton.
- Add a small amount of the ricotta and chutney mixture.
- Garnish with the fig quarters wrapped in prosciutto.
- Serve the croutons at cocktail hour.
You can make the bread slices any shape you desire by using a cookie cutter.