Recipe from Modern Sauces by Martha Holmberg (Chronicle Books, 2012)
Here are the elements of a perfect summer dinner party: a deck, some friends, a cold bottle (or three) of Gruner Veltliner, salumi, white beans in olive oil, platters of grilled vegetables, and.then these figs, cooked over the slow warmth of the last embers in the grill.
You can reduce the balsamic ahead of time, but make the sabayon at the last minute. It is a fun sauce to make in front of an audience, and you can get your friends to help with the whisking.
Serves 6 to 8
- 1/2 cup/120 ml balsamic vinegar
- 18 to 24 ripe figs, halved lengthwise
- 2 tbsp canola or other neutral vegetable oil or a mild olive oil
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1. cups/300 ml Classic Sabayon (see recipe)
- 6 to 8 amaretti, crumbled
In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until reduced by about half, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
Prepare a medium fire in a charcoal or gas grill. Or, position an oven rack about 5 in/12 cm from the boiler element and heat the broiler. If using a grill, the fire is ready when you can comfortably hold your hand, palm-side down, 4 in/10 cm above the grill rack for 4 seconds. Brush the grill rack so that it is perfectly clean.
In a medium bowl, toss the figs with the oil, coating them evenly. Arrange them, cut-side up, on a large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle the cut sides with the sugar. If grilling, transfer the figs to the grill rack, sugared-side up, cover the grill, and grill the figs until they have softened slightly and the sugar starts to bubble a bit, 7 to 9 minutes. If broiling, place the figs on the baking sheet under the broiler and broil to the same end for the same amount of time. Transfer the figs to a serving platter. Spoon the warm sabayon over the figs, drizzle the balsamic reduction over everything, and then sprinkle the amaretti over the top. Serve right away.