In his latest cookbook, Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London's Ottolenghi, the much anticipated follow-up to Plenty, culinary marvel Yotam Ottolenghi continues to dazzle with vibrant vegetarian dishes from appetizers to desserts. The book is packed with more than 150 approachable recipes conveniently arranged by cooking method that anyone can cook and everyone will love. Below is a an excerpt from the book and an elegant and easy recipe for roasted figs, a perfect dessert on a cold winter's night.
Roasted Figs with Pomegranate Molasses and Orange Zest
Excerpt from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi
“I can’t emphasize enough how crucial it is to choose good, sweet, squidgy figs, no matter what you do with them. It makes all the difference. These figs are extremely simple to prepare but have a magnificent deep, rich flavor that surprises me every time I make them.”
3 tbsp pomegranate
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp dark Muscovado sugar
4 thyme sprigs, 2 whole and 2 with their leaves picked
1 orange, rind shaved in 1 long strip from half, zest grated from the other half
8 ripe figs, cut in half lengthwise (14 oz/400 g)
½ cup/100 g mascarpone
½ cup/100 g Greek yogurt
1 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
Place the pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, 2 whole thyme sprigs, 1 tablespoon water, and the orange rind strip in a large bowl with a pinch of salt. Mix well to dissolve the sugar and then stir in the figs. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
Place the mascarpone, yogurt, and confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Set aside in the fridge until ready to use.
Preheat the boiler. Remove the figs from the bowl (keeping the marinade) and arrange them snugly, cut side up, in a shallow baking dish 8 inches/20 cm in diameter. Sprinkle the figs with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and place under the hot broiler. Don’t put them too close to the heat source or they will burn. Broil for 10 minutes, until the sugar has caramelized and the figs have softened.
Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer for 2 to 4 minutes, until the sauce is reduced by half and has a consistency of runny honey.
Transfer the hot figs to serving plates and spoon any syrup left over in the baking sheet over the top. Drizzle the sauce reduction over the figs, then sprinkle with the picked thyme leaves. Place a spoonful of the yogurt cream on top or alongside the figs, sprinkle with the orange zest, and serve.