July is high season for figs - the succulent inspiration for today's featured hors d'oeuvres dish.
I love this recipe because of the surprising flavors and textures (pungent salty crumbles encased inside a fleshy-sweet pulp) which collide in an unpredictably delicious and harmonious way. But what truly impresses me about this dish is its sheer versality. I was at a party in San Francisco (my childhood hometown) three summers back, when the vegan hostess served a raw food version of this recipe. The figs were uncooked and filled with soy cream cheese instead of gorgonzola, with no prosciutto anywhere to be seen - for obvious reasons e.g. vegan hostess - but they still impressed.
A stuffed fig is like a proverbial little black dress: dress it up or dress it down, wear it day or night, and it's still correct.
Below is a dressed-up, carnivorous version - let's call it the New York version - of this recipe:
· 12 figs
· 4 oz. gorgonzola, crumbled (substitutes: goat cheese or ricotta)
· 4 oz. prosciutto, sliced razor-thin
1. Rinse and cut the tops off the figs. Make an "x" with your knife. Each slash should be 1/2 in. deep from the top of each fig, but the base remains intact.
2. Stuff each fig with a marble-sized morsel of gorgonzola.
3. Wrap 1/2 in.-wide strips of prosciutto around the base of each fig.
This dish may be served at room temperature, as described above. Or, to serve warm, pre-heat your broiler and broil the figs for an additional 3 minutes on a greased baking sheet, so the gorgonzola melts.
Servings: 6 (2 figs ea.), Prep time: 8 min. (+3 min. if warm), Calories per Serving: 120, Pair with: Prosecco
Copyright Sweet & Victuals 2008. This article and photograph is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.