Preheat your oven to 175C / 350F.
Butter and line a 2L loaf tin with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the ricotta, olive oil, granulated sugar and lemon zest. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition until fully incorporated.
Sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda, then add a pinch of salt. Using a spatula, fold in the dry ingredients until just combined. Muskogee N.B. Over-mixing can deflate your batter and cause excess gluten development so go easy. Folding rather than mixing vigorously is the best method for this.
Pour into the prepared loaf tin, spreading it out evenly with the back of your spatula.
Half the figs and place them on the top of the batter cut side up, then bake for 55-65 minutes until the top is golden and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let the loaf cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing from the tin and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.