Lamb & Barley Stew with Dried Figs, Olives & Gruyère Toasts
A stew cooking slowly in the oven makes a winter day a whole lot nicer. To offset the gamey richness of lamb, we like to cook it with salty Kalamata olives and sweet dried figs. The fig seeds add a crunchy counterpoint to the tender meat. Taking a page from French onion soup, we serve this stew with golden-brown Gruyère cheese crostini. They’re one of those easy touches that can make a dish special, and they’re a nice accompaniment for all kinds of hearty soups, stews, and even salads.