Black Butter–Balsamic Figs with Fonduta

Stuart Brioza

State Bird Provisions, San Francisco

Nicole Krasinski

State Bird Provisions, San Francisco

Yield

Serves 4

Ingredients

Fontina Fondue:

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup shredded Fontina Val d’Aosta or Cowgirl Creamery Wagon Wheel cheese
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 turns freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche

To serve:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 large ripe fresh figs (preferably Black Mission or Kadota), halved lengthwise
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallion (white and green parts)
  • Micro-basil leaves or torn basil leaves for garnish

Method

Make the fontina fondue: bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium–high heat. Immediately turn the heat to very low to keep warm.

Pour an inch or so of water in a second small saucepan and bring to a boil. Put the cheese in a heatproof mixing bowl that will fit in the saucepan without touching the water. Set the bowl in the pan and turn the heat to medium–low. When the cheese begins to melt, about 30 seconds, pour in the warm cream. Continue to cook the cheese mixture, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the cheese has fully melted, 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir the egg yolk, salt, pepper, and Tabasco into the cheese until well combined. Turn off the heat, remove the bowl, and stir in the crème fraîche until well combined. Cover and keep warm for up to 1 hour.

Prepare the figs: melt the butter in a large sauté pan over high heat. Let it bubble and crackle, swirling the pan occasionally, until it stops crackling and turns golden brown, about 1 minute. Continue to cook, swirling constantly, until the butter smokes and turns a blackish color, about 30 seconds more.

Put the figs, cut side down, in the pan, turn the heat to medium, and cook without stirring until golden brown, about 1 minute. Add the thyme and sprinkle on the salt and pepper. Toss well and continue to cook, tossing occasionally and making sure to brown the round sides, until the figs are deep golden brown and soft but not falling apart, about 2 minutes.

Add the vinegar to the pan, turn the heat to high, and cook, swirling and tossing constantly, just until it reduces slightly to glaze the figs, about 30 seconds.

Drizzle about 1/2 cup of the fondue on a large plate, top with the figs and glaze, and sprinkle on the scallion and basil. Serve right away.

Reprinted with permission from State Bird Provisions: A Cookbook by Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski with JJ Goode, copyright © 2017. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.


https://www.jamesbeard.org/recipes/black-butter-balsamic-figs