Saturday, July 16, 2011

What To Do With Figs

I have always been curious about figs.  This week at Trader Joes it seems they have called out my name, urging me to try them.  I gave in as they looked  beautiful and also figs has some sort of fanciness about them.  

There are many things you can do with figs it turns out. In the above photo, two had mascarpone and the other two had goat cheese.  My conclusion is that (in my humble opinion), it pairs better, if not best, with goat cheese.

Here's a couple of ideas to add to the many ways you can do with figs.

I.  Fresh Figs with Goat Cheese and Honey
(adopted from Bon Appetit)

Starting at stem, cut each fig into quarters, stopping 1/2 inch from bottom to leave base intact.  Gently press figs open.  Brush figs with good balsamic vinegar.  Spoon 1 teaspoon soft fresh goat cheese into center of each fig. Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper and drizzle with honey.
Note:  You can also wrap the goat cheese stuffed figs with prosciutto, secure with toothpick and grill or bake  them until cheese is warm and prosciutto is slightly crisp.

II.  Figs with Prosciutto, Goat Cheese, Arugula and Champagne Vinaigrette

6 firm-ripe purple figs each cut into 8 wedges
8 ounces soft fresh goat cheese
4 thin prosciutto slices
4 ounces baby arugula

For vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon minced shallot (optional)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a small bowl, whisk together, vinegar, shallot, mustard, honey, salt and pepper; gradually whisk in oil until emulsified.

Toss arugula with 3 tablespoons vinaigrette in a large bowl. Divide arugula into plates. Tear prosciutto into pieces and arrange atop arugula. Divide and arrange figs into each plate. Crumble goat cheese on salads and drizzle each plate with remaining vinaigrette.

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