Figs are now at the peak of their season, which means they are affordable, luscious, super sweet and plump. Just a touch of honey and balsamic vinegar and a sprinkling of pistachios, make this a crunchy, soft, sweet, dessert (or even appetizer) with a touch of acidity. Pre-made mini Phyllo dough shells are a great and pretty alternative to puff pastry--which is very high in saturated fat (mostly hydrogenated oils)--and are portion controlled. Honey pairs really well with the rest of the Middle Eastern flavors and has the perfect consistency to melt into the figs. Plus, it’s sweeter than sugar, so less quantity gives you the same amount of sweetness.
These little tarts are a breeze to make.
8 Ripe figs, washed and dried
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 box mini fillo (phyllo) shells (15 baked shells)
1/4 cup salted and roasted pistachios peeled and coarsely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Cut off a bit of the bottom and top (stem side) of the figs (so they can stand vertically) and then cut them in halves.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together honey, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Add in trimmed fig halves, and gently (clean hands are the best tool!)Mix figs so they are evenly covered with the honey mixture.
4. Place each fig half into a tart shell, flesh side looking up. Sprinkle top with a bit of the pistachios.
5. Bake tartlets on the prepared sheet for about 15 minutes, until shells brown and figs soften.
6. Serve immediately or let cool and serve. Can be prepared a couple of hours ahead and reheated.
Variations: You could add a dollop of honey-sweetened plain Greek yogurt or regular vanilla yogurt on top to add creaminess; or some goat cheese to turn it into a sweet –salty--creamy bite.