Bacon wrapped Figs with herbed Goat Cheese are clearly a classic. This dish just seemed to happen even though it is not fig season here in this part of the world till Autumn.
It just seemed to be some kind of synergy between my fridge contents and the produce department. I love figs with salty and sweet flavours, and I had the most suitable partners for these figs just waiting at home. I had a small log of goat cheese, herbs from my garden and some dry cured smoked bacon all waiting to be used. I bought the bacon a little while ago and I was saving it for something special. I know it looks a little clunky around these delicate figs but the taste……..I had no idea it would be so amazing.
If you are in Australia hunt. it. down. The “Skara” Artisan Small goods dry cured free range bacon is not to be walked past if you see it. The recipes and techniques for making it stem from a family background in Croatia, and comes to us via South Australia. Vic’s Meats has it in Sydney. Enough .
I needed a starter. When I cook, I never want a fuss, I like to put things in the middle of the table and have everyone help themselves. This is ideal and after stuffing it and wrapping way before it is needed, it takes a couple of minutes to cook up . ( it’s lovely with prosciutto of course).
I love to leave extra aged balsamic and some crushed hazelnut or walnut praline on the table for everyone to pass around. All you need is a few plates or napkins. This version with thick smoky bacon does need a knife and fork.
You don’t really need much of anything else to make it. It’s a great gluten free starter too.
- 6 figs, firm and ripe, not too soft
- 6 slices of bacon ( prosciutto or pancetta- or smoky ham)
- 150 gm (5 oz) plain goats cheese
- 4 Tablespoons of soft herbs chopped. I like basil, chives, parsley.
- Fresh ground black pepper
- If you are using thick cut bacon or pancetta lay the pieces on a grill or oven tray and cook till just softening. ( half cooked). Drain on paper and put aside. (if using prosciutto it doesn't need to be pre- cooked)
- Put the goat cheese, herbs and black pepper into a smallish bowl and mix well. If the mixture is very crumbly add a little cream till making a soft spoon-able paste.
- Cut the tops of the figs with a cross, making sure the cuts only go about halfway down the figs ( or they wont stay together. push the base of the fig a little to open the criss crosses and using a teaspoon add just a little goats cheese to each one. Once they have all received a little cheese go back and top up a little if needed. They will not hold too much cheese. (1/2 to 1 teaspoon).Push the tops together gently with your hand to close up a bit.
- Wrap the figs in a piece of bacon or pancetta and secure with a toothpick. These can be left now till needed. Refrigerate if they will not be used within an hour.
- Bring back to room temperature before putting on the baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes or till the bacon is hot.
- Remove toothpicks and serve drizzled with balsamic. Pass extra balsamic, basil and praline
Come back Thursday for a run down on my lunch with El Toro Loco: Miguel Maestre. What’s he up to now?