~ Baked Stuffed Figs with Prosciutto, Goat Cheese, Rosemary and Honey ~
Food is like fashion. There are some trends that flash then fizzle, while there are classics that withstand the passage of time – just like a little black dress. The combination of figs, goat cheese and prosciutto falls in the little black dress category. Each ingredient is a specialty hailing from the cuisines of the Mediterranean, reflecting locally grown and raised food with a history spanning the ages. And they taste great together. No fancy accoutrements are needed – this is the stuff of slow food. Whether you call it timeless or simply delicious, the common denominator is it strikes a primal chord in all of us, bringing us back for more.
This recipe showcases the ancient fig, one of the first plants cultivated by humans. Figs are high in calcium, fiber, potassium and contain many antioxidants. Luscious and honeyed, they are delicate in flavor. Their subtle sweetness is an elegant addition to savory dishes such as pizzas and salads, while their mildness adds refinement to desserts, never tipping the sugar point. Classic, understated and refined – all of the makings of timeless food and good fashion.
Stuffed Figs with Goat Cheese and Prosciutto
Fresh rosemary sprigs serve as toothpicks in assembling the figs while infusing flavor during the baking. Makes 12 hors-d’ouevres, or serves 6 as a salad course.
12 figs, ripe but not too soft
6 ounces soft goat cheese, room temperature
6 slices prosciutto, sliced in half length-wise
4 large rosemary sprigs, cut in thirds, plus extra for garnish
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 F. (180 C.)
Cut the figs crosswise from the top, halfway down the fruit. Gently separate the quarters to create an opening. Scoop 1-2 teaspoons goat cheese into the opening, without overstuffing. Wrap each fig with prosciutto slice. Pierce the prosciutto and fig with a rosemary skewer to hold in place. Arrange figs in a baking pan. Gently brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper (the prosciutto will also add salt). Bake in oven until prosciutto begins to crispen and cheese is tinged brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven. Carefully remove and discard baked rosemary sprigs. Arrange figs on serving platter or individual plates with fresh arugula (optional). Drizzle each fig with honey. Garnish with fresh rosemary leaves. Serve immediately.