…it’s true, well at least when it comes to delicious figs on a crostini (though that pun was intended). I have to say I might be in love with this appetizer. How could I not be, because we are going to combine salty with our fig-sweet using: bread, prosciutto, arugula, balsamic & cheese! Need I say more? Well, I have to so you can see how to make it! Figs are an intriguing fruit, having a complex texture of soft and seedy, with an unparalleled sweetness when well-ripened and in-season.
I recently had the pleasure of trying a delicious fig-laden flatbread with my good friend Camila that left me wanting them again the very next day. We have been on a fig plight lately, sharing a burger recently adorned with the fruit, which ended a disappointment. The flat bread however, totally redeemed my love of this versatile member of the mulberry family, and left me wanting more! Good thing I made it to the farmer’s market the next day to find the first crop of the CA Back Mission Fig variety (Pudwill Farms). Talk about timing! Alas, my culinary creativity was sparked again, and I thought with a sourdough baguette and a few other ingreds, this was going to be a good day. Luckily, I was right!
The figs I bought were very ripe, and you know because they almost have the feel of a water balloon and are tender but not mushy to the touch. Their black or greenish exterior hides a vibrant pink or amber flesh (depending on the variety) and they are extremely delicate, so they require careful handling not to mar the flesh. Also, they only last a couple of days in the fridge and unlike most fruit I consume, they do not get better as they ripen and will spoil. Buy them ready-to-use is what I’m saying! Fig season here is the Western US is from June – Septmeber. Also, there are crops in Europe in the fall that are very sweet. You will start seeing fig varieties popping-up over the next 2 months, as the growing season hits its peak.
Figs are also a healthy, very low calorie fruit choice. They are one of few fruits that possess calcium and have about 5% of your daily value of fiber and contain significant amounts of B1, B6 and Vitamin K. Why not!
Mine were ready to eat and you can use them raw. Though, to enhance their flavor and sweetness, I decided to roast mine with balsamic vinegar, white wine & honey. This combo works well with most fruits for a delicious sauce or topping. Then it was onto the crostini construction. My goal is to balance both texture and flavors. So, toasted baguette goes well with something creamy. I decided our creamy would be both a goat cheese brie, and a soft, ripened goat cheese. Together they add a rich element, and not to mention anchoring our slightly warm, roasted fig segment! To this we will add a drizzle of the balsamic roasting sauce. Oh, but we are not done yet! We’ll get our salty contrast with a little crisped prosciutto, and a touch of spice, with a small leaf of arugula. Mmmm.
- 1 sourdough baguette, sliced medium for crostini
- ½ dozen fresh figs (I used Black Mission variety) rinsed, trimmed, sliced in half
- 1 wheel goat cheese brie (I used a french triple cream you won't use all of it)
- 1 small package creamy goat cheese
- small bunch fresh arugula, washed, dried (will use one small leaf/crostini)
- thinly sliced fresh prosciutto (small strip/crostini)
- 1 T balsamic vinegar
- 1-2 T honey (depends on your desired sweetness when roasting)
- 2 T white wine (I used a Chardonnay)
- Little EVOO for brushing the baguette slices for toasting.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Slice sourdough baguette into medium rounds for assembling crostini (but not too thick)
- Rinse and trim figs (cut off both stem and small bottom portion) & slice in halves.
- In small bowl combine balsamic, honey & wine.
- Toss figs to coat evenly, delicately with spoon.
- In small baking dish, arrange fig halves in a single layer.
- Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 15 min, till tender.
- Let figs cool, set aside.
- Crisp thinly sliced prosciutto in a skillet on stove till crisp, drain and set aside.
- Reduce oven temp to 350.
- Arrange bread rounds on baking sheet, lightly brush with EVOO.
- Toast bread rounds till crisp, but not hard (a few minutes).
- Remove from oven & set aside.
- To each round apply a thin segment of the goat cheese brie, followed by generous smear of the soft goat cheese.
- To the cheese toast, drizzle some of the remaining balsamic-hony glaze from roasting dish onto each.
- Then add a portion of crisped prosciutto to each.
- Slice fig halves, into halves and place slightly warm fig segment onto drizzled cheese.
- Put on baking sheet and return to oven on warm/or off, and just slightly heat to barely melt cheeses.
- Remove from oven and serve each with small leaf of arugula by the fig!
This makes for a great app for friends or just to hoard all yourself. Give fresh figs a spin this summer, and you’ll have about forgotten what a Fig Newton even tastes like!