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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saying Goodbye to Summer - Fig & Brioche Tartines

There are few things that make me happy about the end of summer, but the beauty of the fall season to come is one of them. With that comes great produce - Pumpkins and Pumpkin flavored foods get all the attention (or should I say, overexposure?), but for me, the humble Fig is the most worthy harbinger of the changing season. Earthy green or purply brown on the outside and bright and beautiful on the inside, it's as if they carry the last of the sweet summer memories into the autumn the chill.

Fig & Brioche Tartines, Photo: NK

If you you look back through Neurotic Kitchen's late summer posts, you'll almost always find a Fig recipe to try. This year's is the simplest, and was inspired by a decadent Grilled Cheese Sandwich I enjoyed from one of the food trucks at the lovely Hallockville Museum Farm Country Fair. Hallockville is a not-for-profit and working farm featuring landmark historic buildings. The organization seeks to "preserve and interpret the history of farming on the North Fork of Long Island." The Country Fair had lots of great food, farm-themed amusements for the kids, and lots of really interesting old-time tractors and farm equipment. This city girl was shocked by how much she enjoyed the antiques! If you have the chance, make sure to visit next summer. 


Anyways, on the drive home, we stopped by our favorite farm stand where they were selling some really good looking, ripe black figs. Seeing as I can almost never resist them, I just knew they'd need to be worked into our dinner somehow. The next stop was to the supermarket where I grabbed a log of Brie and, when additional inspiration struck, some sliced Brioche. What followed was one of the easiest and yummiest pre-dinner bites I've had in a while. I hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Fig & Brioche Tartines
Serves Six

Ingredients:
About 8 Ripe Black Figs, cut into 1/4 inch slices
8 Ounce Log or Wheel of Brie (doesn't need to be a fancy Brie)
6 slices Brioche
Fig Preserves (Optional)
Salted Butter
Coarse Sea Salt 
Fresh Thyme Sprigs (Optional)

Method: 

Hollow out the Brie Log or wheel and reserve the soft inside in a bowl or on a surface until it reaches room temperature. 

Just as you would a grilled cheese, butter both sides of each slice of Brioche and lightly toast until one side is deeply golden and close to fully toasted. Lower the flame all the way. 

Remove Brioche to heatproof surface, toasted side up. Lightly spread each slice with optional Fig Preserve (a thin layer) and a healthy amount of Brie. Butter the griddle again and return the toast, Brie Side up to the griddle where you'll heat until the Brie Fully Melts. 

Remove toasts and top with slices of Fig. Now give them a light sprinkle of Sea Salt and a garnish of fresh Thyme Sprigs (with a few of the leaves removed and scattered on top. Enjoy! 

Neurotic Kitchen Tip: This would make for a great brunch dish too!