Brown butter fig tart with whipped goat cheese & hyssop honey

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Licorice sometimes gets a bad rep as one of those flavors that people either love or hate, but chef Spencer Bezaire of L&E Oyster Bar can’t seem to get enough. We found him at the Santa Monica Farmers Market this week, gathering the last of this season’s anise and mint-scented hyssop plants to use in everything from mignonettes and salad vinaigrettes and even a brown butter fig tart at his restaurant in Silver Lake.

Chef Bezaire says every part of the shrubby hyssop can be used, right down to the stems that he steeps in honey to capture their essential oils. To add a touch of savory to balance the sweetness of his brown butter fig tart, he whips up an airy goat cheese speckled with flecks of tiny purple hyssop buds. He then finishes each slice with a drizzling of the hyssop honey and a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts.

If you have any hyssop honey leftover, Bezaire suggests pairing it with aged blue cheese or as a sweetener for hot or iced teas.

Chef Spencer Bezaire’s brown butter fig tart with whipped goat cheese and hyssop honey is a summer seasonal item on the menu at L&E Oyster Bar in Silver Lake. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)