Ina Garten's Fig-Focused Appetizer That Tastes More Complex Than It Is

When it comes to entertaining, you may feel the pressure to spend hours in the kitchen, creating elaborate dishes for the sole purpose of impressing your guests. We get it, but here's the truth: As long as something tastes good, no one cares how long it took you to make it. And if our word isn't enough, celebrity chef and hostess with the most, Ina Garten, agrees. 

The Barefoot Contessa has always been a proponent of easy entertaining, and she's hardly shy about taking shortcuts. From outsourcing her lasagna to embracing the beauty of store-bought ingredients, Garten is all about working smarter, not harder, in the kitchen. Needless to say, she can also always be counted on to have a few secret recipes up her sleeve to inspire your next dinner party menu.

Case in point — her deceptively simple Fig and Cheese Toasts, which she has called "the easiest appetizer ever." They are impressively quick to whip up and combine elevated flavors that make them seem far more complicated than they are.

How to make Ina Garten's Fig and Cheese Toasts

If you ask us, the combination of fig and cheese makes for an effortlessly fancy dish, no matter how it's served. The fruity sweetness of the fig plays on the savory creaminess of the cheese, delivering a well-balanced profile with every bite. Garten, of course, takes things up a notch by incorporating the combo with the tangy taste of balsamic vinegar, the fresh earthiness of microgreens, and the ever-pleasing blend of salt and pepper. Talk about multilayered flavor!

According to the recipe on the Barefoot Contessa website, all you'll need to create these bite-sized delicacies is fig spread, a few fresh figs, a creamy cheese (such as goat cheese), kosher salt, black pepper, microgreens, and balsamic vinegar. Plus, of course, some bread for the "toast" component.

Once you've cut and toasted your bread until slightly crisp, add a layer of the fig spread to one side. Then, microwave your preferred cheese in a bowl for about 30 to 45 seconds, until soft, and scoop it on top of the fig spread, towards the center of the slice. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper, add two thin slices of fresh fig, and finish each toast off with a few sprigs of microgreens and a drizzle of syrupy balsamic vinegar. Serve them to guests and they'll be more than impressed — and you didn't even have to turn on the oven (not that they have to know).