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Sweet figs, tangy ricotta and crisp almond cookies make for a perfectly balanced dessert.

If you’ve ever wandered around the Portland Farmers Market, you know the pure product glory that inspired market board member, food writer and recipe developer Ellen Jackson’s new cookbook. Portland Farmers Market Cookbook is full of stories and photos that will make you want to reach for a fresh bunch of something and pay tribute to one of the most vibrant and lively food shopping experiences in the country. 

Fresh, ripe figs are a luscious treat on their own. Served warm, embellished with a drizzle of honey, a spoonful of sweet lemon-scented ricotta, and a crisp almond cookie, they become an elegant yet easy dessert.

You can sweeten ready-made ricotta and add a little lemon zest, but making your own ricotta is simple and more satisfying. Its fresh flavor and creamy texture are noticeably superior, plus there’s the added bonus of having the leftover nutrient-rich whey to add to soups, smoothies, or bread dough.

How to Choose and Store Figs

Figs should be plump and heavy for their size, with skins that are very slightly wrinkled and loose, rather than taut. Their natural sugars can cause them to crack slightly, which is fine, but avoid fruit with bruising. Keep fresh figs in a warm area of the refrigerator and use within two days.

Reprinted with permission from Portland Farmers Market Cookbook