FIGS POACHED IN SAMBUCA WITH PINE NUTS AND RICOTTA (for four)
Figs have two seasons, one in late summer through early fall, and a brief one in late May to early June.
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup pine nuts
¾ cup sambuca
2 tablespoons sugar
12 firm but ripe purple figs
¾ cup whole-milk ricotta, preferably fresh
freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat oil in a small skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add pine nuts and cook, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain, and season with salt.
2. Combine sambuca and sugar in a saucepan just large enough to hold figs upright and bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cut a very thin slice from the bottom of each fig so it stands level and set figs in saucepan (figs will not be covered by liquid). Cover and poach at a bare simmer for 5 minutes. Cool figs slightly in liquid.
3. Season ricotta with salt and pepper. Mound ricotta on plates, set figs alongside and drizzle some of the poaching liquid over the figs. Sprinkle with pine nuts.
from The Gourmet Cookbook