(I apologize for the intermittent posts the last couple of weeks; it’s peak travel season for the L and A family. Presently, I’m in Paris and having a wonderful time! Will promptly resume my regular posting schedule when I return but until then…vive la France! )
My husband is not a fan of fresh figs. I buy pounds of dried figs at a time for him to snack on but the fresh ones? Rejected. Crazy, I know.
This is why I haven’t feasted on them as much as I would have liked to this season. With only two people in the house I try to buy foods that both of us can enjoy or at least in quantities that would avoid waste. I’ve been guilty of the latter in the past by buying too much food without having a plan to use it all. There’s been a marked improvement in this department of late, which I credit to better menu planning and maybe even creativity spurred by more time in the kitchen.
A recent get-together gave me the perfect excuse to buy fresh figs and in this case, creativity was not a requirement. Once again, I looked to my new bruschetta cookbook which I won from Lisa’s (Authentic Suburban Gourmet) recent giveaway. Grilled figs with prosciutto? It’s not a new combination–bacon or prosciutto-wrapped figs are an easy, elegant starter to serve for company. I was drawn to the recipe because it called for grilling the balsamic and olive-oil brushed figs then serving them on top of bruschetta with arugula and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stellar combination.
Grilled figs(sweet) and slightly heated proscuitto (to further coax out the saltiness) were sublime with the fresh, peppery arugula and nutty cheese. Don’t forget the fresh garlic rubbed on the toast. Before serving these delights I gave them another light brushing of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Our friends enjoyed them and I would have been content eating only these for supper. Oh, the joy of taking one bite after another.
Grilled Fig and Proscuitto Bruschetta with Arugula
* Bruschetta, Crostini and Other Italian Snacks by Maxine Clark
- Thick slices country bread
- Ripe fresh figs (I used 2 to 3 quarters of one fig for each slice of bread)
- Prosciutto (1 -2 pieces for each slice of bread)
- Garlic cloves, halved
- Olive oil for sprinkling and extra for brushing
- Balsamic vinegar
- Shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano
I’m not specifying exact quantities of the ingredients because I think this recipe works well to suit everyone’s preference. I deviated from the book’s prescribed portions so I encourage you to build this bruschetta to your liking.
Stand the figs upright and make two cuts to each one quartering them but not quite cutting all the way through. This will make it easier to manage them on the grill. Brush each one with oil and vinegar and grill for cut side down for 3-4 minutes using either an outdoor or stovetop grill (I found the broiler a good alternative, too).
To prepare the prosciutto, place each slice on the grill briefly, just until they’re a bit crinkly.
To make the bruschetta, grill or toast each slice on both sides until lightly browned. Rub one side of each toast with the fresh garlic and drizzle with a little olive oil.
To assemble, place one or two slices of prosciutto on each piece of toast, follow with 2-3 fig quarters then top with arugula. Brush with a little more oil and vinegar and top with cheese shavings. Enjoy!