Have you ever had one of those meals that was so amazing you knew you’d never forget it? Well, I did three years ago in a wonderful town in Northern Minnesota called Duluth. My boyfriend and I were on our way north for a weekend getaway in Lutsen, Minnesota, during law school one fall and were told to stop in Duluth for dinner. Everything we had that night at New Scenic Café was excellent, but I especially remember a fig tartine appetizer. When my boyfriend brought figs home a couple of weeks ago, I decided to finally try to recreate it. Although I didn’t quite remember all of the ingredients, I remembered the general idea of the flavors I loved. The sweetness of the real maple syrup balances perfectly with the flavors of the gorgonzola. This is the stuff dreams are made of, people.
Begin by preparing all of your ingredients. I used a mix of walnut pieces and whole walnuts, but you could use whatever you prefer. Cut the figs in half to prepare to cook them with the walnuts.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Put figs face down in the skillet. Add maple syrup, walnuts, and fresh rosemary. You must use the 100% real maple syrup. Don’t use the corn syrup breakfast syrups. I’m not just saying that because I’m from Minnesota and went maple syruping on a field trip when I was a kid. Stir the figs and walnuts at least twice while they’re cooking and make sure the maple syrup coats the entire fig. Allow maple syrup to come to a boil for two minutes, then reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the figs are soft, about 5-6 minutes. Fight the urge to eat the figs and walnuts directly out of the skillet.
Slice the ciabatta and toast the bread on broil in the oven for a minute while the figs cook. Keep an eye on the bread because toasting bread on broil in the oven can quickly turn in burnt bread. Plate the bread and top with the figs and walnuts. Sprinkle with gorgonzola cheese. Don’t be shy, the cheese will cut the sweetness of the maple syrup. Drizzle a bit of the maple syrup over the top before serving and you’re done! Someone let me know if New Scenic Café brings back their fig appetizer so I can compare it to mine, for research purposes of course.
Toasted Ciabatta with Maple Glazed Figs
- 8 black figs, halved
- 1/3 cup walnuts
- 1/4 tbsp salted butter
- 1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
- 1/2 cup real maple syrup
- 6 slices of ciabatta, sliced thick
- Slice ciabatta into 1/2 inch slices. Place on baking sheet for toasting in oven. Preheat oven to broil.
- Cut figs in half.
- Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add figs, walnuts, and rosemary. Stir after adding all ingredients.
- Allow maple syrup to come to a boil for two minutes, then reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the figs are soft, about 5-6 minutes.
- Place bread in oven on broil for one to two minutes. Make sure to watch the bread so it does not burn.
- Plate bread and top with cooked figs and walnuts. Sprinkle gorgonzola cheese on top and serve hot.