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Bob Hart’s Recipes – Grilled figs with all the trimmings

I love figs. As a small boy in Brisbane, just about my favourite way to spend a summer Sunday was to drive out to our outer-suburban fig farms where, for a modest outlay, we would be unleashed loose on the acres of trees.

Needless to say, those fig farms are no more: people live where figs once thrived, and have generally paid handsomely for the privilege. Such is life. And progress, apparently…

And it is many years since I have tasted anything to match fat, sun-ripened figs – still warm, and either green or purple. But since I have begun barbecuing them on a regular basis, I have come close. As, indeed, you will if you try this:

First of all, choose the fattest and ripest figs you can lay your hands on and slice them in half, top to bottom.

Then, put them on a platter and drizzle them with enough pomegranate molasses to coat them lightly but evenly. Ensure you have some molasses in reserve.

Now, put the fig halves – I find three or four work as a portion – on a hot, oiled grill for around 4 minutes, depending on the temperature of the grill. The idea is that they will become deliciously jammy. You will, of course, briefly drop the lid to achieve this.

Now, use a good pair of tongs to turn the figs, and grill them for another three minutes or so on the second side. And, essentially, your work is done.

I suggest you spread a generous blob of ricotta – something about the side of a large mushroom – in the middle of a dessert plate. Then, top each blob of ricotta with three or four figs, drizzle each with a bit more of the pomegranate molasses, and finish them, if you like, with a pinch of freshly grated lime zest.

No, it doesn’t actually compensate from the vandalism perpetrated on the noble fig-farmers of Sunnybank.

But damn, it’s good…