Sunday, October 01, 2006

Chevre-stuffed Figs

My family recently had dinner at Elaine's on Franklin, where we enjoyed a delicious appetizer of blue cheese-stuffed figs. Last week I found some really nice figs at the farmer's market, so this was the result (serves 4):

8 fresh figs (I just discovered Celeste are the best, but Brown Turkey or Black Mission will do fine)
4 strips of turkey bacon, cut in half lengthwise
4 oz goat cheese (I love Celebrity Dairy chevre)
1/2 T honey
black pepper

Fry the bacon until it's cooked but still flexible. Mix the goat cheese with the honey and a couple grinds of pepper. Cut the figs in half vertically. Scoop out some of the flesh (a melon baller or grapefruit spoon works well). Fill the centers of the figs with the seasoned cheese and put the figs back together. Wrap a half-strip of bacon around each and fasten with a toothpick. Now put the figs under the broiler, on their sides with the bacon up towards the broiler. Broil until the bacon crisps, rotating the figs so all sides cook evenly. This will happen quickly, so don't walk away or you'll likely burn them.

You can serve the figs on their own and they'll be delicious, but they're also wonderful as part of a salad. I dressed arugula and butter lettuce with a simple vinaigrette of lemon juice, olive oil, a tiny bit of dijon mustard, and the fig guts I'd scooped out earlier. Topped the greens with the warm figs (2 each), and it was fabulous.

Easy, delicious, and impressive. 5 stars!

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