Ricotta & Fig Jam Bruschetta

This 30-minute vegetarian bruschetta is perfect for fall & winter entertaining. Its depth of flavor comes from caramelized onions, fig jam, thyme, & lemon.

This was sort of an impromptu appetizer I served at my birthday party* the other night. I had some really nice quality fig jam which made me crave a salty-sweet-treat appetizer to go along with a bottle of prosecco. I’m familiar with the idea of fig and gorgonzola crostini, but since I’m not a fan of gorgonzola (I know, I just lost a few readers), I got stuck on the idea of creamy ricotta instead. I caramelized tiny onion slices with balsamic, assembled the little bites, and sprinkled fresh thyme leaves and lemon zest on top.

This turned out to be a super delicious combo… Rich, light, sweet, salty, tangy, and earthy. And a special brightness from the lemon zest. (there’s a reason this site name is what it is – it’s my opinion that a squeeze of lemon or a bit of lemon zest is always a necessary finishing touch.)

It was only as we started eating this that I realized had made a really snobby version of probably my favorite childhood snack: crackers & cream cheese & jelly. (As in… processed butter crackers, cream cheese, and artificially purple colored “grape” jelly). My mom is going to laugh reading this because she probably never imagined I’d be “perfecting” that concoction with things like caramelized onions and thyme leaves which were unheard of (by us) back then.

*party = me and Jack… parties of 2 are the best kind, right?

5.0 from 2 reviews

Ricotta & Fig Jam Bruschetta

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6-8
  • Loaf of fresh crusty bread
  • ½ garlic clove
  • 8 oz ricotta cheese
  • Store-bought fig jam
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Zest of ½ lemon
Caramelized onions (makes extra):
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil or butter, enough to coat the pan
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced very thin
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sweetener of choice (honey or agave work well here)
  • Sea salt
  1. Slice bread into 1-inch thick slices. If you have a large loaf, cut each slice in half. Grill or toast slices in the oven under the broiler until golden brown but still soft on the inside. Rub the ½ garlic clove on the bread slices as they come off the grill or out of the oven, while still warm. Let toast cool to room temperature while you caramelize the onions.
  2. Make the caramelized onions: Heat the oil or butter in a medium nonstick pan over medium heat. Add thinly sliced onions and a pinch of salt and sauté until the onions start to turn translucent. Add the balsamic and sweetener and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown but not burnt, about 5-7 minutes. If onions are sticking to the bottom of the pan, add water a tablespoon at a time to loosen. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  3. Top each piece of bread with 1 tablespoon of ricotta, or enough to thickly cover the center of your bread slices. Add a dollop of fig jam (1-2 teaspoons) and a few caramelized onions and finish with a pinch of grated lemon zest and thyme leaves.


Inspired by a combo of recipes from Food 52 and Cooking Light


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  1. janvi

    I loved your post so much I became a fan of you, promise that you will continue to share such good and knowledgeable posts even further, we will be waiting for your post thank you

  2. Sarah from snixykitchen.wordpress.com

    These are all my favorite flavors. I’ve done something similar with honey, pistachios, and ricotta, but I am definitely going to have to try figs and ricotta!

  3. jeanine

    I never actually had liverwurst (or any liver product for that matter) while I was a meat eater so I don’t actually know what it tastes like :). Although I do have a recipe for a really tasty walnut pate, I could post that sometime…

    Looking forward to meeting you at Alt!

  4. My favorite after lunch snack was liverwurst with mustard on triscuits. I may have to take your cue and adapt that to something akin like a paté, do you have any vegan suggestions? Your blog is loverly, so glad you pointed me to it and let’s definitely meet up at Alt Summit. I’ll be back!

  5. sara from cupcakemuffin.blogspot.com

    Wow, these look so delicious! What a fantastic appetizer, I will definitely have to try this sometime! 🙂

  6. This is right up my alley! I just love the flavors here, I mean it doesn’t really get better than caramelized onions, fig jams and ricotta on crusty bread… Wonderfully done! 🙂

  7. Jaime

    I just wanted to say how in love I am with every single one of your posts! I think I have favorited about every single one of them 🙂

  8. Megan from scrambledmegs.com

    this looks amazing! i’ve had a bit of a poke around your blog and i’m going to subscribe. i love the layout so much! thanks! please stop in some time, I always like meeting fellow ‘foodies’


    • jeanine

      Thanks! I love the name of your blog, so cute 🙂

  9. Mom

    I spent a lot of time getting cream cheese onto those buttery crackers without breaking them! There’s nothing like crackers with cream cheese and jelly, but this sounds delicious!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.