Pan-fried figs, serrano ham, cream cheese and walnuts on toast
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- 100g cream cheese
- 50g walnuts
- 4 slices bread, such as sourdough or rustic, toasted
- 4 figs (see food team’s tips)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- a splash of sherry vinegar
- a pinch of rock salt
- 4 thin slices of serrano ham
- Mix the cream cheese with three-quarters of the walnuts, crumbling them between your hands and beating them into the cheese with a fork. Spread generously over the toasted bread.
- Open the figs by cutting a cross at the pointed end and opening them up like a flower with your fingers. Drizzle some olive oil into a pan over a medium heat and add the brown sugar. Add the figs and fry the bases only, without turning them; you only want to cook the bottom of the figs. Watch that the caramel that forms in the pan doesn’t burn (see know-how). After 4-5 minutes in the pan, add the sherry vinegar and turn off the heat.
- Place the hot figs over the toasts and drizzle with the hot juices from the pan. Top with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt and the slices of ham. Sprinkle with the remaining walnuts and serve immediately.
Recipe from Spanish Made Simple: Foolproof Spanish Recipes for Every Day by Omar Allibhoy of Tapas Revolution (Quadrille £20)
Photography: Martin Poole
Figs are at their peak in early autumn; make sure you buy soft and sweet ones.
You may need to add a little water if the caramel becomes too thick – just add a splash to the pan to thin it.
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