While in the Levant you can pick figs fresh from the tree and enjoy them straight away, in this country you have to wait until your trusted fruit & greengrocer has the delicious fruit in the display. But when the time comes, I have nothing else for a few days. And at the top of the list is fig caprese.
Caprese is one of my favourite Italian starters. Tomatoes, mozzarella, a little basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. That's all it needs. Yet there are big differences. Not all tomatoes are the same and not all mozzarella is the same. Especially in a recipe with just a few ingredients, it's the quality of the ingredients that counts. Even if you replace the individual ingredients - with figs, for example 😉 - the quality of the mozzarella is still very important.
If you want to serve your guests a different but somehow familiar starter, replace the tomatoes with figs. The basil with crunchy pistachios. And the balsamic with za'atar oil. The result is this stunning fig caprese with za'atar oil.
Recipe for fig caprese with za'atar oil
- Mix olive oil with za'atar and lemon juice and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
- Slice the figs and mozzarella and arrange them alternately on a plate.
- Pour the za'atar oil over the figs and mozzarella and season with salt and pepper.
- Garnish with pistachios.
Be sure to try the caprese with persimmon.