Grilled honeyed figs on sourdough toast with goat’s milk labneh and lemon thyme


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Autumn is the time to make the most of the all-too-short fig season. Plump, purple figs are endlessly versatile in the kitchen, their velvet soft skins disguising luscious, honeyed flesh that is at home with buttery pastry or melting frangipane as it is with roasted game or strong cheeses.

This recipe straddles the line between sweet and savoury, pairing the warm sweetness of grilled figs and honey with tangy goat’s milk labneh, a Middle Eastern cheese made by straining yoghurt through muslin until it becomes firm and creamy. The combination of the hot, honeyed figs with the cold, sour cheese is wonderful, enhanced by an aromatic scattering of lemon thyme leaves. The lemony notes of this fragrant herb echo the sharpness of the cheese and mellow the figs’ sweetness perfectly. Add some crisp sourdough toast, and you have a perfect breakfast, brunch or lunch that makes the most of the gorgeous seasonal fig.




For the labneh

For the figs

Make the labneh a day in advance. Mix the goat’s yoghurt with the salt and pour into a bowl lined with a clean cheesecloth or muslin
Pull the muslin up around the yoghurt to form a bag and tie with string. Tie another, longer, piece of string to the bag to enable you to hang the bag up, so you can suspend it over a bowl – a cold room in the house is ideal. If your fridge is big enough, you can also tie the bag to the rack of the fridge and place a bowl underneath to catch the liquid
Leave for 24 hours – the liquid will drain away leaving firm labneh in the bag with a texture similar to cream cheese. Discard the liquid and decant the labneh into a bowl
Preheat the grill to 220°C
Cut the stalks off the figs and slice in half lengthways. Arrange cut-side up in a baking dish, drizzle with the honey and sprinkle over the cinnamon. Grill the figs for 5–10 minutes, or until tender and caramelised
Meanwhile, toast the sourdough slices. Divide between two plates, spread with labneh (you might have some labneh left over) and scatter over half the lemon thyme leaves
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