This is reprinted from The Thompson Family Cookbook, a collection of recipes from my extended family that I compiled last year. The recipe was adapted from the Breakfast Bruschetta served at Starling Diner, a cute little neighborhood restaurant in Long Beach, California owned by my cousin, Joan. Starling Diner is a wonderful place to hang out and have a leisurely breakfast. The food is outstanding and the ambience is comfortable and relaxed. My favorite things on the menu are the creamy Breakfast Polenta, the decadent San Francisco Stuffed French Toast and these Breakfast Bruschettas. At Starling Diner, the bruschetta is served with seasonal berries, but I think the recipe works beautifully with caramelized figs as well. Perfect for a casual brunch, this is a quick and easy dish to prepare that may be assembled ahead of time.
Caramelized Fig Breakfast Bruschetta
Yields 12 servings
12 slices of baguette, 1/2-inch thick
olive oil, as needed
12 figs, cut in half
Grand Marnier, to taste
1 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons sugar
mascarpone cheese, to taste
honey, to taste
walnuts, chopped and toasted, for garnish
powdered sugar, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Brush baguette slices with olive oil and arrange on a cookie sheet. Toast baguette until lightly brown.
In a small sauce pan, combine Grand Marnier, orange juice, and sugar. Cook on medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. When syrup is cool, add figs, making sure they are completely covered. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until figs are tender.
To assemble, spread mascarpone cheese on the toasted baguette slices. Top with 2 fig halves. Arrange on a serving platter. Drizzle honey on top of the baguettes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish with chopped walnuts.
Variation: Substitute fresh berries or poached peaches for figs.
Adapted from the Starling Diner, Long Beach, CA