Food writer and photographer Leela Cyd has a new cookbook out that will make you want to group-text five of your closest friends, “Dinner at my place!” Every recipe, from the tried-and-true to the brand-new, has a certain signature twist that makes each dish unique. Pick a page and get crackin’.
I first discovered this flavor combination on a tartine at Cyril’s, the sultry, candlelit wine and cheese bar my friends Sasha and Michael opened in Portland, Oregon. I entered the restaurant sighing with happiness, leaving the gray chilling-my-bones weather at the door, and my eyes turned to saucers when I spotted these gorgeous purple, green and white darlings on the marble bar counter. Upon first bite, my mind was sent aflurry on how I might re-create, modify, and enhance this sensual little snack for my own impromptu fetes. Many a good idea has been born at the behest of a cozy space, the company of pals and the perfect bite to eat, right?
- 12 dried Black Mission figs, sliced into thin disks
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 24 of your favorite crackers (I like large, circular wheat crackers)
- olive oil
- sea salt
- honey, for drizzling
- 1/2 cup pistachios, lightly crushed
- fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
For the figs
In a small pot, combine the figs, vinegar, sugar, thyme, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat, cover, and let the figs steep for 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.
For the canapés
Spread about 1 heaping teaspoon of ricotta on each cracker. Gingerly place the pickled figs (about 1 or 2 per cracker) atop the ricotta, then top with olive oil, sea salt, a drizzle of honey, and a hefty sprinkle of crushed pistachios.
Finish with fresh thyme leaves and serve immediately.