Thursday, October 9, 2008
It's fig week! Roasted figs with goat's cheese and prosciutto.
Figs and I have a tempestuous relationship. When it's on, it's ON--I am a slave to the fig's sticky sweetness and hidden depths, and there is nothing that can bar me from its dusky beauty. When it's off, however, the love runs cold, and nary a thought is spared for my dear, figgy friend.
And usually that's fine.
The problem with this strange and mercurial relationship is that far too often when the need descends, fresh figs are nowhere to be found (I blame my inattention; I wouldn't be at my beck and call, either). It happened a few weeks ago, and took me until last Friday to finally source some of the elusive fruit, purchased from a shady vendor on 6th avenue and carefully shepherded through a long evening of whiskey-drinking (except for the part where a crazy dude on 1st avenue tried to trip me with his cane, causing me to lose a few to the east village gutters). It was a challenge, but somehow I managed to get them home and make the salty-sweet treat I'd been planning over the past week: Roasted figs with prosciutto, goat's cheese, and honey.
Let me repeat that: roasted figs with prosciutto, goat's cheese, and honey.
Oh, oh yes.
I'm sure you can understand why I pursued this dream despite the mocking absence of figs; I'm sure many of you can conjure, as I did, the glorious juxtaposition of the syrupy fruit; the creamy, tangy cheese; the salty, chewy prosciutto. You can almost see the honey dripping lasciviously over the top of the snowy peaks, almost smell the irresistible miasma...
...whew, got away from myself for a second there. But if nothing else, that supports my case: if something makes me write like a second-rate Harlequin scribe? It MUST be good.
Roasted figs with prosciutto
12 medium-sized figs, quartered at the top along half the length of the fruit
4 oz chevre
1/4 lb prosciutto, sliced thin
a few tablespoons honey
a few tablespoons balsamic reduction*
The true beauty of this recipe is its simplicity: stuff the figs with the cheese. wrap with prosciutto. drizzle with honey. bake at 400 degrees for ten to fifteen minutes. Drizzle with more honey and balsamic. Share them with a friend for a delicious dinner, or put them on a pretty plate with extra honey to serve as hors d'oeuvres. Or, eat them all yourself. With gusto. And a green salad.
*Balsamic reduction: pour a bottle of balsamic vinegar into a saucepan and boil it until it's reduced by half or more--it will be sweet and decadent, and make everything look super gourmet.