Fig season starts to wind down about now depending on where you live in the northern hemisphere. Each additional year I’m in France I note I haven’t consumed nearly enough of them! The scramble begins, the kitchen cranks up and I savor every last bit of the fig harvest. This time, an Italian fig tart with a favorite Champagne.
What’s not to adore about figs?!?
Similar to wine, they come in varying hues of white, rosé and red. And like wine (vitis vinifera, labrusca, riparia, etc.), figs come in a mind-blowing number of types with slightly different taste profiles (Kadota, Brown Turkey, Black Mission, etc.).
You wouldn’t necessarily know these things unless you were a fig lover and wine geek.
Now some of you might not like figs (or wine). Perhaps a naysayer or you only consume them a certain way. Know that you’ll be missing out if you don’t try this savory tart with one of my favorite Champagne. And it’s a perfect tart for apericena.
That, however, might need some explaining!
In the States it’s happy hour, in France it’s aperó and in Italy, it’s both aperitivo and apericena. Apericena takes the casual gathering of friends with nibbles and alcohol to a more elaborate level and on occasion turns into the dinner. In short, when you don’t want a full meal but want more than nibbles time for apericena.
As for the apericena alcohol, we often start with bubbles and my choice here is AR Lenoble Intense, a brut Champagne cuvée of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
AR Lenoble is celebrating their centenary this year. They are one of the last 100% family-owned, 100% independent houses in Champagne with just 11 people on their team.
This savory tart with hints of fig sweetness, Gorgonzola unctuousness and a buttery crust pairs beautifully with Intense.
- 1 recipe of your favorite tart dough. Store bought is fine too.
- 2 medium yellow onions, top and root end cut off, halved lengthwise, then cut into thin, half moon-shaped slices
- 2 tablespoons (roughly 25 milliliters) OR
- 1 3-inch sprig fresh rosemary, minced (about 1 heaping tablespoon / 24 grams)
- pinch salt
- 1 heaping teaspoon (8g) dried rosemary
- ¼ cup (60 milliliters) milk (I used oat milk, worked perfectly)
- 12 to 15 figs, washed, cut in half. Note if they are larger in size you can cut them into quarters. The figs will shrink a bit when baked.
- ½ to ¾ cup (4 to 6 ounces) Gorgonzola
- ¼ cup (60 grams) pine nuts
- Add the oil to a large fry pan set over medium-low heat. Add the pinch of salt and dried or fresh rosemary. Cook, tossing occasionally, until onions are limp and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. To expedite cooking, after five minutes add a few tablespoons of water to the pan and cover for a few minutes. Open, stir, and repeat. Again, you want the onions golden and limp. Set aside to cool while you make your dough.
- In a small bowl, whisk the milk and egg until. Stir in the onions.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out the dough to about a 9 by 12-inch rectangle or circle. Transfer to the baking sheet. Work all the way around rolling the edge of the dough over on itself to create a border.
- Spread onion mixture evenly over dough. Arrange figs, cut-side up on onion mixture, in rows or a circular fashion. Add dollops of the cheese between the figs everywhere. Sprinkle pine nuts over the top.
- Bake until dough is golden, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.