This week’s recipe from Portland-based photographer Leela Cyd has a picture-perfect backstory. Leela re-created the recipe after tasting something similar one cold winter day in a warm candlelit wine and cheese bar. As I type with numb fingertips, this makes me want to find an equally inspiring place to come up with a few recipes of my own. If your own home, unlike mine, is warm and cozy, you should invite friends over and prepare this for them! —
About Leela: is a photographer and storyteller based in Portland, Oregon. She shoots food, culture, interiors and people for media outlets such as Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, the New York Times and Kinfolk. Leela also authors her own award-winning blog, , on tea, gatherings, travel, little snacks and friendship. She uses photography as a means to explore the world, connect with others, share stories and play with pretty vessels and tasty food. Leela co-hosts a photography workshop each year in Italy; this year it will be held in May in Florence. For more information on the workshop, visit .
See Leela’s full recipe after the jump . . .
For the pickled figs
- 1 dozen dried Black Mission figs, sliced into thin discs
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
For the ricotta
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 baguette, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
- olive oil
- 1/2 cup pistachios, lightly crushed
- drizzle of honey
- sprigs of thyme
1. In a small pot over medium-low heat, bring fig slices, red wine vinegar, sugar, water and thyme sprigs to a simmer, for about 5 minutes. Turn heat off, cover and let steep for 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.
2. Preheat oven to 350. Line a pan with parchment. In a large bowl, toss baguette rounds in a light drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with a few generous pinches of salt. Cook rounds for about 15 to 20 minutes, checking for desired doneness (I love a deep golden brown toast, but you may like them a little more blonde) every 5 minutes. Remove toasts from the oven when done and set aside.
3. Gather figs, toasts, ricotta, thyme sprigs and pistachios for assembly. Spread about 1 heaping tablespoon of ricotta on each toast, gingerly place pickled figs (about 2 or 3 per toast) atop the ricotta, and drizzle with honey and a hefty sprinkle of crushed pistachios. Finish with fresh thyme leaves and serve immediately.
Upon first bite of these tartines one cold, gray Portland winter day, I enjoyed, dissected and my mind was sent [in] a flurry on how I might re-create, modify and enhance this sensual little snack. Many a good idea has been born at the behest of a cozy space and a perfect little nibble, right? My version is slightly different than what I tasted that day in the wine and cheese bar, but it remains incredibly easy and terribly fancy for having friends around. It’s perfect any time of day and pairs well with a cocktail or a cup of tea.