Leonardo da Vinci famously said that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” That certainly applies to this dish. Here are three simple ingredients that compliment each other in the most delightful ways. What could be more elegant than a fig stuffed with fresh goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto?
Figs are in season late summer and early fall and have a luxurious texture and a floral, honeyed flavor. Fresh goat cheese adds a creamy element, and salty prosciutto with a light char from the grill elevates these hors d’oeuvres to heavenly heights. I buy fresh lavender goat cheese at the farmers market, but you can also combine plain goat cheese with a small amount of dried lavender. I made these stuffed figs for lunch on top of a kale salad with shallots, Marcona almonds, and sherry vinaigrette. But on their own, they would make impressive party food; beautiful, sumptuous, and hand-held. This is food fit for a king.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Figs Stuffed with Lavender Goat Cheese
12 fresh Black Mission figs (ripe and soft, but not smashed or mushy)
3 ounces fresh lavender goat cheese (or plain goat cheese + 1 tsp dried culinary lavender)
6 thin slices of Prosciutto di Parma, torn in half lengthwise
extra-virgin olive oil
1. Combine goat cheese with a good pinch of salt and the dried lavender. Carefully make a slit down the length of each fig, making a pocket in the center. Use a teaspoon to stuff each fig with a bit of the cheese. Next, wrap a strip of prosciutto around each fig. Do this carefully, but tightly, so they will stay together on the grill. Brush the prosciutto-wrapped figs with extra-virgin olive oil.
2. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Grill the figs until the prosciutto is crispy, carefully rotating a few times. This will take about 5 to 7 minutes.
Baby Kale Salad with Marcona Almonds and Sherry Vinaigrette
3 handfuls of baby kale or arugula
1/4 cup roasted Marcona almonds
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tblsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp honey
3 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
salt and coarse black pepper
1. In a large bowl, use a fork to whisk together the vinegar, honey, and salt and pepper to taste. In a slow, steady stream, whisk in the olive oil. Add the baby kale and the nuts and toss to combine.