How many of you are like me and almost never, OK never, have fresh oregano on hand? Well, that should change, like today! Go out and buy yourself some fresh figs, fresh oregano, and a really good loaf of sourdough and make this for dinner. (Hint for St. Gallen dwellers!! Familie Bischofberger at the Friday/Saturday farmer's market has an amazing bio/organic sourdough).
This toast is not just beautiful to look at, it's proof that beauty and substance really can exist on one plate. It's such a simple but unexpected combination of flavors that happen to be incredible together. When you think about it, oregano is a peppery herb which enhances the black pepper you're already using, which in turn brings forward the fig's floral, citrus notes. Rich, creamy, and tangy cottage cheese form the perfect base on top of the sourdough. And if you're liberal with your black pepper, balsamic, and lemon, you'll have no doubt these toasts, even topped with sweet figs, are firmly planted in the savory category - although honestly I would eat this for any meal. And when you thought it couldn't get any better, if you have pistachios on hand crush some up and sprinkle on top for a welcome contrasting crunch, then finish with a final drizzle of balsamic, if you please.
Balsamic Fig and Oregano Toasts
Serves as many as needed
Notes: This is another no-recipe recipe, meant to provide an adaptable framework to fit your needs.
- Firm but ripe figs, sliced (I used 6 medium figs for 3 servings)
- Fresh oregano, chopped or torn
- Balsamic vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Good quality sourdough bread, sliced
- Good quality cottage cheese*
- Crushed pistachios
- Layer half of sliced figs in the bottom of a small, wide bowl. Sprinkle with chopped oregano, freshly ground black pepper, and a drizzle of balsamic. Layer remaining fig slices on top and repeat with oregano, pepper, and balsamic. Set aside.
- Toast sourdough slices. While bread is toasting add a squeeze of lemon and freshly ground black pepper to cottage cheese and stir to combine.
- Top toasted bread with a liberal smear of cottage cheese. Layer on balsamic figs, crushed pistachios, and finish with another drizzle of balsamic, if desired.
*A really good quality cottage cheese is not to be missed. The Swiss version is called Hüttenkäse, and when I choose to enjoy dairy I would hands down choose this rich and creamy cheese over ricotta any day. But I know some people are averse to cottage cheese, so ricotta or goats cheese can be substituted here.