8.20.2016

Friends with Benefits

Long after citrus season is done, there are other desert treasures that land on our doorstep in abundance.

Friends Scott and Jeff emailed us with an offer of fresh figs from their tree. How could we say no?

Of course, Murphy's Law was in effect and we were at a family wedding on the East Coast when the offer came in. "Would there be any left by the weekend?" we asked. Scott responded, "The bounty is winding down." Sigh... perhaps we could still hope for a few.

We  let Scott and Jeff know when we were home, just in case there was any lingering surplus. Expecting but a few, you can only imagine my surprise when Scott appeared at the door with two pounds of luscious purple figs, warm from the tree. Yes, please!

The first thing Mark and I did was make an old favorite from our early days together - grilled figs and prosciutto. These juicy, savory-sweet morsels make great appetizers, a simple first course, or a light meal, which is how we used some of them that day.

This isn't big news on the hors d'œuvres front; I am sure many of you have seen this recipe - or one like it - before. Regardless, they deserve to be discussed again, because they are so good!

Having friends with fruit trees, or vegetable gardens, is a real benefit. And we love being the beneficiaries!

The summer garden.
Stay tuned for another fresh fig recipe!

~ David

Grilled Figs & Prosciutto

12 figs
3 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano
12 slices prosciutto

Remove stems, wash and cut figs in half lengthwise (from stem end to blossom end).

Slice the Parmigiano-Reggiano into 24 thin slices.

Cut each slice of prosciutto in half lengthwise.

Place one half of a fig toward the end of one of the prosciutto slices, cut side up. Place a slice of cheese on top, then pull the end of the prosciutto up over, and continue rolling the fig and cheese in the prosciutto.

Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet, and repeat with remaining figs, cheese, and prosciutto.

Place the pan 4 inches from the broiling element and broil for 6-7 minutes until edges of the prosciutto are crisp and brown. Serve immediately.

Beware: these come out of the broiler scalding hot! Let them cool for a minute before tasting. And provide ample napkins, as they squirt and dribble luscious juices.

Makes 24.

43 comments:

  1. Oh this looks amazing! I get zucchini and you get figs and citrus! (Okay a neighbor did drop off some sweet corn last week.) Figs are one of my very favorites but they cost a fortune up here--I have debated trying a potted fig tree. Your appetizer looks simple and perfect! Enjoy!

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    1. Thanks, Inger! We had a potted fig in Maine and enjoyed a few figs each year!

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  2. For those of us who have to purchase our figs, on my second tray from Costco.

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    1. They taste wonderful no matter where you get them, Jill!

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  3. I agree with the phrase "yes, please". This is one of the all-time best ways to eat figs. GREG

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  4. David, I recently tried fresh figs for the first time and really loved them. I love learning about different ways to eat them. I'm glad you revisited this old favorite of yours, can't wait to try it!

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    1. Thanks, Marcelle - I have another fun fig recipe coming up in a couple of weeks!

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  5. These look beautiful; can't wait to try this version!

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  6. Heaven, sheer heaven! Was eyeing off figs at a food market yesterday... but they were $2 each and I wondered if it was too early in the season.

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    1. Wow, figs so early? No wonder they are expensive!

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  7. You are so lucky to have such friends! Unfortunately, I don't have any who 1. Have fruit trees 2. If they do, they don't want to share!
    When I see fresh fruit like this, I'm always reminded of my grandparents' garden in India. It had every tropical tree imaginable and in season it was so beautiful, lush and green. They had fig trees, pomegranate, mango, coconut palms, guava...just so beautiful.
    This recipe is a classic...one I can't eat...but looks wonderful just the same!
    Looking forward to seeing you soon! I'm so excited :)

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    1. I am working on a version for vegetarians and non-pork eaters - I will keep you posted, Nazneen! Your grandparents' garden sounds magical!

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    2. So happy you'll be posting a non-pork version!

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  8. So simple, and so amazing!! Thanks for this, David.

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    1. Thanks, Kirsten - most of the best things are simple!

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  9. Oooh...this made me remember DH Lawrence's poem "Figs." Very erotic, maybe offensive to some but I could not help mentioning it. Have you read it?
    I do love good figs and dream of being able to grow them but my climate is too iffy.

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    1. Caterina - I haven not read that before! Thanks fro letting me know - it is wonderful and I don't think too vulgar (at least not these days). We tried growing them in Maine - too much work - and they grow well here, but the birds and other critters love them faster than we do!

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    2. It's silly, but every time I eat a fig I think of DH Lawrence. Glad you said it's wonderful. I don't even remember where or when that poem "came onto my radar." Probably something my brother told me. He took me to the DH Lawrence ranch in New Mexico many years ago. As I remember, it's somewhere near Taos? I think i'll google that. What did we do before google?

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    3. I only vaguely remember his connections with the Southwest, Caterina. Will definitely look into that when we are next on Santa Fe/Taos.

      And that is an excellent question: what DID we do before google?

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  10. My little turkey fig tree is producing a good crop this year, and the figs are sweet. I can't wait to make this. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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    1. Thanks, Domenica - I think you will love them. They work beautiful cooked in the oven or on the outdoor grill!

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    2. And lucky you having a bumper crop this year!

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  11. My father in law had a fig tree in the Central Valley of California and I loved them. These days I have to buy them and I will to make your yummy looking fig treat.

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    1. We have to buy them most of the time,too, Gerlinde - but I don't mind, especially once I have bit into one!

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  12. Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best and with lovely ingredients like those figs, you can' go wrong!

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  13. D, this is such an elegantly simple small bites idea, perfect for summer time. Makes me wish I were in Italia! xo

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    1. I think we both wish we were in Italia, Colette! xo

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  14. You are so right, David. Whether one has seen this recipe before, it is meant to be repeated every fig season. It's that good. Truly. You are so lucky to live in or near fig country. There are fig trees here -- a friend's grandparents once owned one that was reputed to be the largest in the metro area -- but I've yet to be introduced to a benevolent owner. Drat! Next to finding someone with a boat and slip in one of the city's harbors, a local fig tree is would be very much appreciated. :)

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    1. Perhaps the underlying reason for our move to Tucson was the figs, John. But maybe the tomatoes, too. And the peaches. And corn. So hard to decide! We have friends in the northeast who kept a fig alive by burying it ever winter. Worth the trouble, for sure!

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  15. Three of my absolute favourite foods. What would life be like without them - honestly! Hold onto those friends, David!

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    1. I agree, John - these are three amazing foods an, together? Perfection!

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  16. I would trade my current neighbors (pooping pigeons) for ones with wonderful fig trees in a heart beat! This looks incredible. Love that you chose a simple preparation to honor the beauty of the fruit!

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    1. You are so funny, Ahu! I am sure someone is growing figs in New York - you just need to find them!

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  17. This is one of my go-to hors d'œuvres. Unfortunately, I don't have friends dropping off bags of the little gems, but Golden Harvest isn't far when the season is right! Yours looks wonderful!

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    1. When we lived there, we tried growing a fig tree, and actually got a few figs - but Golden Harvest was easier!

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  18. What gorgeous looking figs David, I just bought a pint when we were at Pikes market in Seattle and they were the best I ever had. Can't wait to see your other fig recipes as well. Have a great week-end!

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  19. Wow! I am intrigued by this recipe. This is definitely going on my to-make list :)

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