Figs are at their peak in early autumn and this delicious, easy-to-make recipe takes tapas to a whole new level. Find more recipe ideas from Spanish chef Omar Allibhoy in HELLO! out now.
"Tapas are much easier to make at home than people think and these days you can find most Spanish ingredients in your local supermarket so there is no excuse. Figs are at their peak in early autumn – make sure you buy soft and sweet ones."
Serves: 4 as a tapa
Preparation time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
100g/4oz cream cheese
50g//2oz walnut halves
4 slices rustic bread, toasted
8 soft and sweet ripe figs
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp brown sugar
A splash of sherry vinegar
A pinch of rock or sea salt
8 thin slices Serrano ham
1. Mix the cream cheese with three-quarters of the walnuts, crumbling them between your hands and beating them into the cheese with a fork. Spread generously over the toasted bread.
2. Open your figs by cutting a cross in the pointed end and opening them out like a flower with your fingers.
3. Drizzle some olive oil into a frying pan over a medium heat and add the brown sugar. Add the figs and fry the bases only, without turning them, for 1-2 minutes as we only want to cook the bottoms. Watch that the caramel that forms in the pan doesn't burn. Add the sherry vinegar and turn off the heat.
4. Place your hot figs on the toasts and drizzle them with the hot vinaigrette from the pan. Top with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt and the slices of Serrano ham. Sprinkle with the remaining walnuts and serve.
TIP: "Try this recipe with melon instead of figs – it will be equally great."
Spanish Made Simple: Foolproof Spanish Recipes for Every Day by Omar Allibhoy of Tapas Revolution (Quadrille £20) Photography: Martin Poole