10
Feb
11

Spiced Almond Cream and Fig Crostini

Here at Vegan Valentine, we take Valentine’s Day very seriously. This represents Part One of a three part Valentine’s Day installment.

**Spiced Almond Cream Crostini with Figs and Balsamic Reduction.**

This little snack is unusual, it’s relatively healthy, and it’s mighty tasty, if I do say so myself. It’s also easy to do. You can make the different components ahead of time and assemble them before serving.


Here is what you need:

  • 1 French baguette, sliced thinly and toasted or grilled
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • dried figs- I used both Mission and Calimyrna figs
  • a couple tablespoons Earth Balance

 

Preparing the balsamic reduction:

This step takes the longest, so start it first.

Bring 1 cup balsamic vinegar to a simmer. Mine wasn’t particularly good quality, but if you have a nice one I’m sure it couldn’t hurt.

Add 1 tsp brown sugar and stir until it’s dissolved.

Let simmer about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced to about 1/4 cup.

Take off heat and let cool. It should thicken to a syrupy consistency.

 

Preparing the almond cream:

In a food processor, grind the slivered almonds as finely as you can.

Keeping the food processor on, slowly add the almond milk until the mixture has a smooth, creamy texture.

Add the cinnamon and nutmeg and mix to combine.

 

Preparing the figs:

Normally I would use fresh figs, but since they’re not in season I experimented with dried ones and they were actually really good! I used the brand Sun-Maid, which I found at a regular grocery store, and I bought one package of Mission figs and one of Calimyrna.

Slice the figs thinly with a sharp knife. Sometimes they look like hearts when they are sliced- especially the Calimyrnas. If your knife gets sticky, rinse it off so that it will make cleaner slices.

Put a small pan over low heat with a pat of Earth Balance. Place the fig slices in the pan. After a couple minutes, the bottoms should deepen in color. Flip them over and let them sit for a couple more minutes so that the other sides deepen as well. Take off the heat.

 

Assembling the crostini:

Spread the almond cream on your slices of baguette.

Spoon a few drops of balsamic reduction in the middle of each crostini. It will spread out a little as it sits.

Place a fig slice in the middle of each crostini.

If you want to, you can also use the balsamic reduction to decorate a platter before you put the crostinis on it. Here, I spooned drops of the balsamic in two straight lines. Then I dragged a knife across the plate through the dots, which pulled a line of balsamic with it. I drew one line toward me and one away from me.

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1 Response to “Spiced Almond Cream and Fig Crostini”


  1. 1 Emily
    February 12, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Mmmmmm this looks amazing! I heart you Vegan Valentine!


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