– 8 fresh figs cut in half lengthwise (They’re just coming into the market now; not local, but worth a splurge. Make sure they’re plump, glossy and nearly soft but without torn skins.)
– 1 pint fresh raspberries, strawberries, and/or red currants (I like a mixture that’s heavy on raspberries.)
– 1 cup fresh, creamy ricotta or Greek yogurt strained in cheesecloth for several hours
– 3 tablespoon honey for drizzling
– A few drops of balsamic vinegar or red wine for brushing on the figs (optional)
– One lemon, zested (make the strips as thin as possible)
1. Light the broiler or keep the grill going if you’ve used it for the main course. Wash and dry the figs and berries. Take stems and leaves off berries, slice the strawberries if they are big. Brush the figs with a little balsamic vinegar or red wine, or omit this step as the figs do fine on their own.
2. In a mixer, food processor, or with a whisk, whip the ricotta or yogurt until light. Thin with a little milk if it is too thick to whip.
3. Arrange the berries in a ring on a platter and scoop the ricotta in the center.
4. Place the figs on a cookie sheet or on the grill, cut side up, and broil/grill for just a minute or so, until they start to color and release their juices. The timing will depend on the ripeness of the figs and the heat of your fire. Watch them carefully as you don’t want them to burst!
5. Arrange the hot figs on the berries, drizzle the honey over the entire plate, sprinkle on the lemon zest and lavender florets, if you have some in the garden, and serve!