We just brought home a large crate of figs this weekend as well as a pint of organic vanilla ice cream. In my humble opinion, figs should be prepared in a way which doesn't mask their shape and fresh tenderness. This dish brings together three of my favourite things- figs, red wine and cardamom. The succulent sweetness of the figs swimming in a pool of milky, creamy whiteness, lacqeured with red wine reduction is all you need for a meal sometimes. Skip the main course, go straight for dessert. (Note: use a medium-bodied dry red so it can soak up the flavour of the cardamom pods). —shayma
Make a 1/2 inch cross at the tip of each fig, place in the oven on a baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes. By the time they are ready, you will see some juices bubbling at the base of the figs.
Remove the seeds from 4 cardamom pods and with a mortar and pestle, crush to a powder. Set aside.
Prepare the red wine reduction. In a small saucepan, add the wine, 8 pods of cardamom (make sure the tips of the pods are slightly open) and sugar. Set on medium heat and reduce (approximately 10 minutes) till thick and syrupy.
Remove the cardamom pods. If the escaped seeds bother you, you could sieve the reduction. I just left them in.
Place 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream in a bowl, arrange 4 figs atop the ice cream, drizzle with the red wine reduction and sprinkle with sliced pistachios and cardamom powder.
Shayma Saadat is a cookery teacher, food writer, stylist and photographer who focuses on the food of her heritage - Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, which she refers to as Silk Route cuisine. Shayma lives in Toronto with her husband and son. You can follow her culinary journey on Instagram @SpiceSpoon.