This luscious and jammy condiment sits atop little toasts like a jewel. They have just a touch of booziness, and you don’t need much to add big flavor. They’re made with dried fruit, so you can throw these together any time of year for a quick fête. This recipe was inspired by my friend Leela, who knows how to turn any weekday occasion into a fancy affair.
Slice the dried figs into discs. Place in a medium saucepan with the red wine vinegar, port, sugar, salt, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Add ½ cup of water, and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce to simmer, and partially cover by putting a lid on the pot a little askew. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, then turn the heat off, cover completely, and let steep for at least an hour at room temperature. You could also do these the night before and let them sit at room temperature overnight. When they’re done, store them in an airtight jar for up to a week in the refrigerator. Try them alongside a hunk of pungent cheese or with a light bowl of sweetened mascarpone for a simple dessert.