Ricotta & fig jam bruschetta

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?

serves 6-8, or about 2 pieces per person, (depending on the size of your bread). I halved this recipe because I was not serving a crowd.

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

Loaf of fresh ciabatta bread (or baguette, or any crusty bread that you like)
Store bought fig jam, I use this kind.
8 oz. Ricotta (or about 1 tablespoon per piece), the less processed the better, part skim is ok.
1/2 garlic clove
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
zest of half a lemon

Carmelized onions: (you might end up with extra)
2 teaspoons olive oil or butter (or enough to coat the pan)
1 yellow onion, sliced very thin
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon agave syrup or honey or sugar of choice
pinch of salt

Slice bread into 1 inch thick slices (I also cut each slice in half to make it more finger-food-friendly) and grill or toast in the oven under the broiler until golden brown but still soft on the inside. Slice a clove of garlic in half and rub the grilled bread as it comes off the grill (or out of the oven) while it’s still warm. Let toasts cool for a few minutes to room temperature while you caramelized the onions.

Heat oil or butter in a medium nonstick pain. Add thinly sliced onions and a pinch of salt and saute for a couple of minutes until the onions start to turn translucent. Add balsamic and sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown (just barely not burnt), about 5-7 minutes. If onions are sticking to the bottom of the pan, add some water a tablespoon at a time to keep them loose. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes while you start assembling.

Top each piece of bread with about 1 tablespoon of ricotta (depending on the size of your bread), a dollop of fig jam (a teaspoon or 2), a bit of the caramelized onions. Finish with a pinch of grated lemon zest and thyme leaves on each.

If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.


  1. Mom on said:

    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!

  2. Megan from scrambledmegs.com on said:

    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 from loveandlemons.com on said:

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

  3. Jaime on said:

    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 🙂

  4. Gourmantine from gourmantineblog.com on said:

    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! 🙂

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      thanks so much!

  5. sara from cupcakemuffin.blogspot.com on said:

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

  6. 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!

  7. jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

    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!

  8. Sarah from snixykitchen.wordpress.com on said:

    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!

  9. Pingback: 5x borrelhapjes die je nog niet kent – Splurge Wisely

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