There was a sale on fresh figs at my grocery store this weekend, and they looked so good, I bought some. Remembering cocktail parties (and desserts) past, I thought of the wonderful combination of figs and blue cheese. I love salt and sweet together—especially in an appetizer. So these would be great if all you feel like doing is topping the figs with blue cheese and baking them for a few minutes until the cheese melts. But I was feeling like doing a little more, so I looked in my recipe file for inspiration. One recipe wrapped them in pancetta, another in bacon and a third in Prosciutto—one added goat cheese and another topped them with walnuts—all of the combinations sounded wonderful and I have enough figs to try some variations. But the one we ate on Saturday and really enjoyed was this happy hodgepodge. And as you can see from the picture, instead of drizzling the honey over, I used it to hold the figs in place on my platter. This had the effect of giving each piece a dip of honey and made the platter look very appetizing.
Prosciutto Wrapped Figs with Blue Cheese and Honey
Serves 6 (3 per person)
3 tablespoons Port or other sweet wine
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
9 ripe fresh figs cut in half lengthwise
12 thin slices Prosciutto
1 cup crumbled fresh blue cheese (I used Maytag)
2 tablespoons honey for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Pour the Port into a glass pie pan. Place all of the figs, cut side down into the Port and let marinate for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the pepper on a saucer. Dip the figs into the pepper and place them, cut side up on a baking sheet.
Cut 9 slices of the Prosciutto lengthwise in half. Loosely wrap each fig half with a strip of Prosciutto. Cut the remaining Prosciutto into thin strips and then cut the strips into 2 inch pieces. In a small pan, sauté the strips until they are crisp. Drain and reserve. Place blue cheese crumbles and fried Prosciutto strips on each fig.
Place the baking pan under the broiler and cook until the edges of the prosciutto are beginning to brown and the cheese is melting and bubbling. Remove from the oven and transfer the figs to a platter. Drizzle the honey over and serve.