Fig Spread with Black Pepper & Toasted Sesame Seeds

    Recipe adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking: Five Ways to Incorporate Whole & Natural Ingredients into Your Cooking, available at Linden Hills Natural Home. Serve fig spread with walnut bread or as an accompaniment to cheese.

    1 ½ lbs ripe fresh black Mission figs
    (stemmed and cut into ¼ inch dice)
    ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1/3 cup honey
    ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
    ¼ cup toasted unhulled sesame seeds

    Toss the chopped figs and lemon juice together in a large bowl. Stir in the honey and black pepper and set aside for 10 minutes. The figs will start to break down and get soupy. Pour the fig mixture into a large, heavy pot over medium heat and bring to a slow gurgling boil. Cook, stirring constantly, until the figs start to reduce and thicken, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in the sesame seeds and remove from the heat. Let the spread sit for 5 minutes, taste, and add more pepper to taste if needed.