Ah, fresh figs: a seasonal delight. Dried figs are available year-round, but there’s a certain joy of biting into the pliant flesh of a fresh fig.
Figs may be one of the first foods cultivated by man. Fig cultivation precedes the domestication of barley, legumes and wheat, and may thus be the first known instance of agriculture.
In the millennia before Europe and the Middle East had access to cane sugar or beet sugar, figs were used, in addition to honey, as sweet snacks and to sweeten cakes, puddings and other desserts.
Here’s more on the history of figs.
In addition to the eating figs out of hand, with the cheese course, and in the featured appetizer recipe below—serve figs:
This recipe is from the Cheese Lover’s Cookbook and Guide by American cheese-making royalty Paula Lambert of The Mozzarella Company.Recipe copyright © 2000 by Paula Lambert.
The figs are wrapped in prosciutto along with Paula’s Deep Ellum Blue cheese.
Since the “blanket” is prosciutto, not pastry, it’s also a low carb, gluten-free appetizer.
About Deep Ellum Blue Cheese
Unlike other blue cheeses, Deep Ellum Blue has no blue veins. The “blue” is the diamond-scored, blue-mold-mottled, edible rind (photos #2 and #3).
Deep Ellum Blue is soft, creamy and spreadable. Its flavor is robust and earthy, but not too strong or salty. Serve it on a cheese plate, as a slice atop a green salad, or atop chicken, beef and veal dishes.
It’s is especially good with Port and dessert wines. You can order Blue Ellum here.
Deep Ellum Blue is named for the location in Dallas where The Mozzarella Company’s cheese factory is located. The name also recalls the neighborhood’s legendary blues singers of years past.
If you can’t get your hands on it, look for another creamy blue: Cambozola Blue (Germany) or Double Crème Blue from Castello Cheese (Denmark), for example.
How To Serve Figs In A Blanket
Figs In A Blanket recipe are delicious as an appetizer, with a glass of wine, and as:
1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F. Brush a non-stick baking sheet with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Separate the slices of prosciutto and cut each in half so that there are 16 pieces of sliced prosciutto. Set aside.
2. DIVIDE the Deep Ellum Blue into 16 pieces and roll them into small balls. Cut the figs in half. Press your thumb into the cut side of each fig to make an indentation.
3. PLACE a ball of cheese into the indentation of each fig. Wrap each fig tightly with a piece of prosciutto, taking care to completely enclose the Deep Ellum Blue so that it won’t run out while baking. Gently squeeze the prosciutto-wrapped figs to seal the packets and place the figs on the prepared baking sheet with the prosciutto seam down.
4. POUR the balsamic vinegar, the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and honey into a small dish and stir to combine. Transfer the figs to the oven and bake for 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese begins to melt and the prosciutto begins to brown.
5. REMOVE from the oven and, using a spoon or a silicone basting brush, drizzle the balsamic vinegar dressing over the figs.