These plump, bite-sized whole Greek figs have been poached and preserved in a rich, sweet Mavrodaphne wine syrup and spiked with pepper. This unusual condiment, which can be served as a mezze or dessert, is the brainchild of food artisan Avra Panousopoulou, from Agia, Larissa, in central Greece.
Greece is an endless grove of fig trees and the fruit has been revered since antiquity for its excellent nutritional value. Indeed, fig trees were considered sacred and thus guarded in the ancient world. Mavrodaphni is one of the most renowned dessert wines of Greece, a dark, sweet wine that historically is produced in either Patras or Cephalonia. It is somewhat reminiscent of port or marsala but more complex than either. The pepper that spikes up this unusual condiment is not an uncommon addition to poached figs in the Greek kitchen. The pungency of the black pepper counters the sweetness in the figs and wine perfectly.
You can serve these delightful figs at any point in the meal, but it is especially delicious over Greek yogurt, as a topping for mild cheeses such as Greek manouri or ricotta salata or chevre, over cheesecakes, ice cream, and even more robust pleasures such as pancakes or French toast.
Ingredients: Dried figs, mavrodafni, sugar, black pepper