Posted by: Elizabeth Chung
I went to a specialty grocery store the other day on a mission to make the most unique and savory dish that I had “never” made.
I was in the produce section looking for the freshest ingredients that I could find to make this scrumptious meal – and suddenly I was drawn to the sweet scent of ripened strawberries. As I was reaching for a carton, a petite dark brown, pear-shaped fruit caught my eye and I saw that they were Black Mission Figs. I did not know that figs were in season during the summer, but there they were! Well, no sense in wasting a delicious opportunity – I was thrilled to get the chance to use them as my muse for this very delectable meal that I was going to prepare.
I was familiar with the sweet flavor and unique texture of figs as they sort of resemble the tenderness and texture of a plum with a fuzzy peach surface. I knew I could pretty much eat the whole basket full of these sweet morsels, but I was on a mission to make a savory dish, so I looked through my many cookbooks and started my quest to dream up the perfect fig recipe, and there it was – my ingredients started to come together – Prosciutto, garlic and herb infused goat cheese, rosemary, aged balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, mixed greens, and freshly shaved Parmigiano Reggiano – this was it!
Since figs don’t have a lot of moisture, they make the perfect fruit to grill, steam, dry or bake. However, today, I decided to grill them on the range. The first thing I did was lightly sprinkle them with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. I then carefully scooped some of the center seeds from each fig, and placed them in a small bowl. I created the filling by mixing the center seeds with the garlic and herb goat cheese, rosemary, and a pinch of chili flakes. I then tenderly wrapped the figs in prosciutto, lightly brushing them with extra virgin olive oil, while placing them on the cooler edges of the grilling skillet pan.
When the prosciutto turned a deeper red color, I knew it was ready to plate. I arranged a beautiful bed of mixed greens and shaved the fresh Parmigiano on the top. I then placed my delicately wrapped figs on the top of the greens. I topped it all off by sprinkling the balsamic vinaigrette and viola!
The sweet savory smell alone was enough to make me want to eat them all off the grill!
Not only was this dish simple to make, but figs have some great health benefits. They contain potassium which helps to lower high blood pressure and they also contain dietary fiber.
So now that I have become a fan of cooking with figs, I think I will make this dish at my next dinner party. And, did you know that figs have been around since the 14th century? Another great conversation topic for your guests at your next gathering!
“Fig”in Delicious Recipe
Serving Size: 4
Preparation/Cook Time: 15 Minutes
12 Black Mission Figs
2 oz Garlic and Herb Goat Cheese
Prosciutto Di Parma
Fresh Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
Rosemary (fresh or dry)
Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1–Gently wash figs and dry off all water by wrapping them a with paper towel.
2–When the figs are all dry, cut each lengthwise in half.
3–Take a small teaspoon and scoop a tiny part of the center seeds on the surface of the figs and place seeds in a small bowl. Leave a generous portion inside the figs intact.
4–Directly sprinkle the figs with a little kosher salt, pepper, and a little balsamic vinegar on the top.
5–Lightly brush a little extra virgin olive oil on top of each fig.
6–Combine Garlic and Herb Goat Cheese with 1 tbsp Dry Rosemary or ½ tbsp Fresh Rosemary and a pinch of Red Chili Flakes.
7–Fill the center of each halved fig with 1 tsp of the goat cheese mixture.
8–Wrap each halved fig with a thin small piece of prosciutto, enough to fit around the fig.
9–Heat the grill pan to Medium High Heat.
10–Once the pan is heated, gently place the figs, with the goat cheese center facing up, on the outer cooler edges of the pan.
11–Cook for 4-5 minutes until prosciutto is a darker red color and figs are softened.
12–Place mixed greens on a serving plate, place cooked figs on top, and shave the fresh Parmigiano Reggiano cheese over the plate.
13–Top of the salad by lightly sprinkling the Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing on top.
Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh Ground Pepper
–Elizabeth Chung, Marketing Department