Or you could do what I did and make the challah in Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours by Sarabeth Levine. But only if you really feel like making challah. Plain jane toast will do, as will an English muffin, or a muffin of indeterminate national origin. Even a dry, stale cracker will do. You know what will not do? Nothing. Move on.
Now fetch your food processor, a small, light-colored skillet, a bowl, and a kettle. Get some butter, pistachios, dried figs, and salt. We're going to play. And then you're going to eat.
Brown some butter. Don't wander off, or you'll end up with soot. Just brown some butter, and pay attention to it. Watch it foam. Listen to it cackle and spit. After it's got some mojo, dial your heat way down so the popping subsides and the butter stops flailing.
You are a watchman, a sentinel. In your robe or your pajamas or your suit or your fancy watchman's outfit with the embroidered lapel, you have one task and one task only: don't let the butter burn. Okay, you have two tasks: don't let it burn, and give the pan a calm swirl every now and again.
When it's brown -- and by brown, I don't mean tan, taupe, amber, or, god forbid, beige -- pull your skillet. It should smell like success.
Now take a breath. The hard part's over.
The rest is easy. Soak the figs and pistachios in boiling water. Let them hang out while your brown butter cools. You can take a quick shower at this point, or check your Twitter feed to see if it's National Nilla Wafer day or whatever. Nothing's going to happen until you get back. Make your bed. Make my bed.
Pour off the liquid. Then blitz the hell out of the nuts and figs, adding in a hefty pinch of sea salt and streaming in the brown butter towards the end. It will all come together. It will look like comfort, with jade flecks.
Now you can make your toast. Or slice your challah. Or get out your sad, stale cracker.
It's all good now.
It's all good.
Recipe for Fig Pistachio Brown Butter
Makes 2 cups
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces dried figs, stemmed and rough-chopped
1 cup unsalted pistachios
Brown the butter in a small saucepan. (To brown butter, melt in a small skillet over medium heat until it bubbles and foams. Reduce the to low and cook slowly for a good 10-15 minutes, watching carefully and swirling the pan now and again to prevent burning. You want a "nutty" brown color and aroma when you're done.) Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, place the figs and pistachios in a medium bowl or 32-ounce, lipped glass measuring cup. Add boiling water to cover (about 2 cups). Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand 20 minutes. Pour off the liquid.
Transfer the figs and pistachios to a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add a generous pinch (or two) of salt. Process until finely ground and sticky. With the machine running, slowly stream in all the brown butter, scraping in all the lovely bits. Continue processing until the mixture comes together and looks thick, sticky, cohesive, and wonderful. Transfer to a bowl or jar.
Use immediately. (Store any leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator. For best spreadability, return to room temperature before serving.)