Figs With Labneh and Carob Molasses

This dessert is a San Francisco restaurant Beit Rima’s seasonal delicacy. A coating of labneh, a geometric bloom of fresh figs, carob molasses, olive oil, toasted sesame seeds, hazelnuts, and a dusting of black pepper encircle this simple yet eye-catching meal. Chef and Beit Rima owner Samir Mogannam explains, “This is a dish we do every year when figs are in season, using figs from a local farm with amazing 30-year-old organic fig trees.” Every summer, our patrons go crazy for this meal. It is always fresh. It can be consumed as a cheese plate, dessert, or appetizer.” A plethora of textures, a flowery, creamy freshness from the olive oil and labneh, and a subtle sweetness from the figs glossy in molasses merge in every mouthful. A common component in Middle Eastern cooking, carob molasses is a viscous, black syrup with a faint chocolate taste. The last dish is a delicious concoction of carob, figs, and olive oil—all of which are grown on Levantine trees.

Ingredients

⅔ cup labneh (preferably Byblos) (about 6 oz.)

4 to 6 fresh figs (about 5 ounces), quartered lengthwise

½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

½ teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons carob molasses

2 teaspoons toasted and crushed hazelnuts

1 teaspoon white and black sesame seeds, toasted

Directions
Spread a bed of labneh on a 7-inch plate, and lay down figs, cut side up. Sprinkle figs evenly with salt and pepper. Drizzle evenly with olive oil and molasses, and sprinkle with hazelnuts and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Note
Find carob molasses at most Middle Eastern grocery stores or online at snukfoods.com. Putting the carob molasses in a squeeze bottle makes for easy plating. Any brand of labneh may be used if Byblos is unavailable and can be found in most grocery stores.

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