When I saw the recipe for Jonathan’s Nutty Fig Toast in the October issue of Food Network Magazine, it haunted me. It looked so bizarre, the flavour combination simple yet unusual, I had absolutely no idea if I would like it or not. So of course, I had to make it!
I only made half the recipe but will write it in full for you. Puree 1 cup of salted roasted mixed nuts with 1 tbsp of peanut oil. I used cashew and canola oil instead. Process until smooth and creamy, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add 2 tbsp of honey and 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon. Pulse until well combined and smooth.
It kind of reminded me of a vegetarian pâté. Intriguing!
Toss 8 to 10 fresh figs, halved, in some olive oil with a pinch of salt. Put in a baking dish and roast until soft, around 10 minutes.
Smear the spread on top of a piece of bread and top with a roasted fig. Drizzled with honey and top with chopped nuts.
How did it taste? Oh man, I LOVED it! It was so… weirdly wonderful. The sweet and soft roasted fig kissed by the honey. The crunch of the bread and the creamy earthy cinnamon-y rich cashew butter… I thought it was a perfect symphony in my mouth. I had never had anything like it before and I wanted more!
Which is a good thing. It was way too unusual for Reg who did not even look like he was going to take a bite of it. That was partly my fault. I warned him he might not like it so he was on foodie red alert. Turns out I was right. He said, “You like this?” after taking a small bite. I said, “Mmmm hmmm….” as I was eating mine. He said, “Good. Here is some more,” and put his serving on my plate.
My only suggestion is do not cut the bread on a bias like I did. You want the spread to go over the entire surface. It did make for a pretty picture though!
I give this odd and surprising treat four and a half out of five wooden spoons.
BTW, when I ran out of figs I used the leftover cashew mascarpone butter with grapes on bread! Not half as elegant but still, so tasty.