In The Sprouted Kitchen, Sara Forte looks at seasonal cooking through a new lens, offering bring new ideas for cooking wholesome meals from the produce she loves.
There was a cafe by my old house that made wonderful breakfasts. Near the register, they kept a basket of small baguettes with a few different fillings for breakfast to-go. The flavors often changed, but the filling that always intrigued me was the fresh fig, fig preserves, and fresh mozzarella with balsamic glaze—perfect for a not-too-sweet breakfast. I’ve put that combination in a bowl, using mozzarella’s cream-filled sister, burrata, which is slightly more decadent and getting easier to find in markets these days. While this bowl isn’t something to take on the road, it makes a beautiful, light breakfast when figs are in season. Don’t be fooled that this rests in the Morning Bowls chapter, it makes a great appetizer as well. Both the compote and the balsamic reduction can be made up to three days in advance.
I prefer dark-skinned figs here as they yield a pretty purple compote, but any variety will do. When they are ripe and in season, no any added sugar is necessary. If your figs aren’t that sweet, add a few tablespoons of natural cane sugar.
- In a pot over medium heat, add the balsamic vinegar and bring it to a boil. Turn it down to a quick simmer, and reduce the vinegar by half. Add the honey and a pinch of fresh black pepper and simmer until you have about ⅓ cup glaze. Note that it will thicken as it cools, so pull it off the heat once it reaches the viscosity of maple syrup. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Put ¾ pound of the figs and the apple juice in a pot and bring it to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and cook the figs down, stirring occasionally, until they fall apart and look like jam, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Slice the baguette ¼-inch thick on a very generous diagonal to get long crostini. Arrange them on a baking sheet, brush with a thin coat of olive oil, and sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes until lightly toasted.
- To serve, arrange a bowl with a big puddle of the compote, burrata, figs, a drizzle of the balsamic glaze and fresh thyme for garnish. Arrange the crostini on the side and assemble with a schmear of the compote, a slice of burrata, and a fresh fig on top.
Reprinted with permission from Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon by Sara Forte, copyright © 2015. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Sara Forte and Hugh Forte
The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl and Spoon