Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fig-stravaganza - 2 recipes


Sure I've had fig newtons, but I never stopped to think about the "fig" part of the newton.  A fig is a fruit that is part of the mulberry family. Fresh figs are available June through October and can be found dried throughout the year. Figs are full of potassium, fiber, calcium and manganese. 
So while walking around the farmers market on Sunday, I came across a vendor's table full of baskets of figs.  In an adventurous mood, I walked over to the table and the vendor offered a sample.  I was going to buy a basket without trying them anyway, but the sample confirmed my new love.  Figs.  I still have to figure out how to pick them out and decide if they're ripe or not (they should be firm to the touch) but a little go a long way.  Not having a clue how to prepare them, I started an online search.  Now you can make jams and use them in a salad or stuff them with cheese (one recipe called to stuff an apricot with cheese then stuff it in the fig, I'm not sure that what would've worked?).  
Ingredients:
8 small fresh figs
4 oz. goat cheese
4 oz. blue cheese
5 slices of prosciutto, halved
Sourdough Baguette

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cheese Crostini recipe:
Slice baguette
Cut 4 figs in half
Top one slice of bread with goat cheese
Top another slice of bread with blue cheese, then top with fig.
Place on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is soft.
Serve hot
*Note you don't have to bake them, try them just like that.
** Variation:  Cut the figs in half and place a piece of blue cheese on each fig half. Wrap the prosciutto around each fig half, covering the cheese.

Prosciutto wrapped, cheese stuffed fig recipe:
Make a tiny slit (an X shape, careful not to slice all the way through) on the top of each fig
Next, stuff a scoop of goat cheese in the opening
Snugly wrap a piece of prosciutto around each fig to form a cocoon
Stand the figs on a sheet pan.
Bake for 10 -12 minutes so the prosciutto melts slightly and forms a skin around the figs.
Best served hot out of the oven.

Stay hungry my friend.