10 x 1cm thick slices of LOAF SEEDED BATARD, (about half a loaf)
300g creamy blue cheese (e.g. Kapiti Kikorangi)
5 thin slices prosciutto
10 sprigs watercress
250g (11/3 cup) chopped dried figs
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large brown onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
430ml (1 3/4 cups) red wine
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 sprigs thyme
Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus soaking and cooling time
Cooking time: 55 minutes
The marmalade recipe makes about 650ml (2 ? cups), which is more than you will need for the croutes. However it will keep, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for 2-3 weeks. It is delicious on cold meat sandwiches or as an accompaniment to ham or turkey. You could halve the recipe if you like or, if catering for a crowd, double the amount of croutes, cheese, prosciutto and cress to make 20. These make a great light lunch or accompaniment to pre-dinner drink
1. For the fig-onion marmalade, combine the figs and 250ml (1 cup) boiling water, or enough to just cover the figs, in a small bowl. Stand for 1 hour or until the figs have softened. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat; add the onions and cook, stirring, for 15 minutes or until the onions are very soft. Add the undrained figs, wine, vinegar and thyme and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes or until the liquid is reduced and the mixture is thick and jammy. Remove from the heat, discard the thyme then cool to room temperature.
2. Preheat the oven grill then place the bread slices on a tray. Toast the bread slices for 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Cool slightly. Spread each with blue cheese then place a heaped tablespoon of the cooled onion-fig marmalade on each. Using your hands, tear the prosciutto into coarse strips then divide amongst crostini. Top each with a sprig of watercress then serve immediately.