In the summer of 2010, I discovered the world of fresh figs. These figs came from a marvelous old tree in my yard, the last vestige of a fig orchard that used to stand on the property. It stuns me that only one tree was spared from that orchard as houses started cropping up around it. But luckily, that tree became a part of our property!
Its figs are the sweetest and richest things I’ve ever tasted, moreso than any figs I’ve tried from a younger tree or farmers’ market, and the faithful tree bears more fruit than I can ever eat in a summer. (The squirrels, birds, and fig beetles share the rest!)
One of the first recipes I made with my first harvest that summer was this one — a variation on a dish I’d once had in a restaurant, but is now something I make every summer at home. It feels fancy but takes almost no time at all to prep. It’s my go-to starter when crudités are tired. If I want a light lunch, I’ll add a few of these to a bed of mesclun and dribble more olive oil and honey on top. It’s everything I like in one tantalizing bite: creamy, juicy, sweet and savory. (Argh, I’m drooling as I type this!)
I’ve made different versions of this recipe as well, like wrapping the figs in bacon or stuffing them with blue cheese, or even grilling them for a few minutes. If you use the freshest fruits you can find, you can’t really go wrong no matter which way you make them.
Prosciutto-Wrapped and Roasted Fig Stuffed With Goat Cheese
Makes 4 servings
12 large figs
2 ounces creamy goat cheese
4 ounces prosciutto
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Wash and destem your figs, then make an X-cut from the top of each fig to about three-quarters of the way down (do not cut through the figs completely). Slightly pull the X apart to prepare for stuffing.
Fill each fig with a spoonful (or in my case, a knife swipe) of goat cheese.
Wrap a strip of prosciutto around each fig. Arrange your figs in a shallow baking dish.
In a small cup, whisk together the olive oil and honey until well blended. Dribble the sauce evenly over your stuffed and wrapped figs.
Pop the dish in the oven for 10 minutes. The goat cheese should be oozy and the figs intoxicatingly juicy.
Top with freshly cracked black pepper if you’d like. Serve as an appetizer or side dish for four lucky people!