A delectable dessert that fuses sweet and savoury flavours to perfection
300g Greek-style natural yoghurt
½ tsp sea salt
Good olive oil for preserving
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp chilli flakes
1 fresh chilli, deseeded and blitzed with a little of the olive oil
6-8 fresh figs, depending on their size
Honey for roasting
Cracked black pepper
Crackers to serve
Start by making the labneh, as it takes a couple of days. Line a sieve with a double layer of muslin or use a clean J-cloth. In a bowl, mix the yoghurt with the salt and tip into the clean cloth. Scrunch up into a ball and tie the cloth into a knot at the top. Place over a bowl and suspend in the fridge for a couple of days, squeezing out any excess liquid.
After a couple of days, remove from the fridge and discard the liquid in the bowl. You will be left with the curd. Roll into tablespoons of mixture and place into a clean jar, and top with olive oil. This is a messy job as the curd is quite sticky.
Preheat your oven to 220˚C/200˚C fan-assisted/gas mark 7. Put the figs into a small roasting dish and cut the tops in quarters, taking care not to cut too far down or they will just collapse. Drizzle with honey and a sprinkle of demerara sugar. Season with black pepper. Roast in the oven until they become a bit soft, and the honey and sugar begin to caramelise.
While the figs are in the oven, put the blitzed chilli on a small plate. On a separate plate, put the smoked paprika and chilli flakes. Roll some of the labneh into the chilli then roll in the paprika and chilli flakes. Any leftover labneh can be stored in the fridge in the oil. Scoop out when required and allow it to come up to room temperature. The oil can be kept separate and reused for dinner.
Remove the figs from the oven. Serve the chilli labneh on crackers with honey-roasted figs on the side.
Recipe by Jody Spencer
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