I love figs. I love seasonality and I love food. Italy, is decidedly the best place on earth for all three of those things. What is better than enjoying delicious food and a beautiful country? Despite all the naysayers, trolls and disgruntled people who lament the perils of Italy, I stand firm that Italy is a country worth saving and not giving up on. I am inspired by this every time I bite into something wonderful, such as the luscious figs that started to creep in at the end of summer and sprawling the markets.
Figs have a myriad of health benefits. Interesting to regional Italian delicacies (such as dried baked figs with toasted almonds from Campania) and have been noted in the human diet as far back as 9th century BC! They are rich in fiber, blood pressure pal potassium, high in antioxidants and have alkaline forming effects on your body’s pH. I once learned ages ago, thanks to my rockstar nutritionist big sister, that one of the puzzle pieces for optimal longevity and disease prevention, we should eat a diet which is 80% alkaline forming. Coincidentally, most fun foods like cured meats, red meats, alcohol, cakes, chocolates, fried foods and most processed foods (although not fun) are usually acid forming. Don’t tell my sister what I am doing in Italy. Just tell her I’m eating loads of figs, 80% of the time. And that none of the wine is being consumed with these figs.
For a easy gourmet snack utilizing these god-worthy fruits, get a few ingredients and try out my fig and ricotta crostini.
* Sliced rustic bread, perfect for toasting.
* figs. slice them up
* ricotta. ideally fresh and from buffalo and/or sheep’s milk.
* aged balsamic glaze (highly suggested)
* in place of ricotta, fresh fennel salami “sbriciolona” or “finocchiona”
Toast sliced bread. Slather on ricotta. Stud in sliced figs. Drizzle on aged balsamic vinegar. AND/OR smash some crumbles of fennel salami in place of ricotta for variation. Before all of this, make sure some tasty white wine is chilling in the fridge and some friends are on their way.
Serve with a balanced white wine that is slightly dry yet a tinge fruity such as a Fiano from Campania OR a slightly aromatic with bright acidity Tuscan wine like a Viognier. Or hell, an extra dry Prosecco would work too.
In your gourmet trust,
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