Ina Garten is cooking up a storm this year, and lucky for us, she’s sharing those culinary adventures with her fans. From revealing her favorite vegetarian dish to the most fabulous way to make scrambled eggs, we didn’t believe things could get any better—at least until her latest Valentine’s Day menu hit our feeds. In her Instagram post, Garten wrote, “People usually spend Valentine’s Day with their one special person, but Jeffrey and I like to extend the love and include friends, as well.”
Since Valentine’s Day is mid-week this year, the renowned cookbook author and Food Network celebrity decided she’s “making a simple dinner where things can be either prepped or made ahead so [she’s] not pressed for time on Wednesday night.” The wonderful collage of food includes eye-catching photos of her signature Cosmo, a slow-roasted steak with veggies and a cool, creamy panna cotta. And we’re extra-excited for the Fig & Cheese Toasts she’s making as the appetizer course. Keep reading to find out how to make this lovely app yourself.
First, you’ll want to grab a loaf of country bread, halve it and slice crosswise into ⅜-inch thick pieces. Toast your bread however you like—in the toaster or oven—until browned and crispy. While they’re still freshly toasted, slather each piece of bread with the fig spread, covering the entire surface. Garten suggests a thick fig spread like Dalmatia since it’s easier to spread the cheese on top. Plus, she mentions that the spread usually has less added sugars than fig jams and preserves.
Next, drop 8 ounces of any plain, creamy cheese like goat cheese or cream cheese in a bowl and microwave it for 30 to 45 seconds. This step gets the cheese nice and spreadable so it’s easier to spread on top of the fig spread. To make the dish as beautiful as Ina’s, make sure to leave the fig spread exposed at the edge of each slice. Then, give the cheese a light sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Finally, Garten suggests cutting each toast in half crosswise to make an easier-to-eat appetizer. You can then halve and thinly slice 2 ripe fresh figs lengthwise, and top each slice of toast with a slice of fig as well as a few microgreens. Top with a light drizzle of balsamic vinegar and serve at room temperature.
The comments are packed with fans calling this dish “amazing,” “beautiful” and “delish,” and we couldn’t agree more. This might become our new favorite party appetizer for any occasion, especially come fig season.
For more appetizers to keep you and your company satisfied until the main meal, we highly recommend our own healthy Fig & Ricotta Toast (which also makes a delicious breakfast) or our Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Toast for something even more savory and fragrant.
As Garten wrote in her caption, “Have a delicious Valentine’s Day!”—and with these toasts on your table, it’s a guarantee you will.
Up next: 48 Valentine’s Day Dinner Recipes to Make for Your Loved One