Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Good Idea

I was smitten from the start. When I saw him and knew I had to have him, my mom was easily swayed.

Okay, enough with the fake love story. I know if those few sentences had continued any longer I would be getting phone calls right and left from friends and family anxious to hear about how my status was, finally, no longer "single." Finally isn't really the right word, but neither is smitten, I'm just getting carried away.

However, that handsome carton of figs did immediately catch my eye, and my mom did readily agree to buy it, and I have been enjoying the little seedy fruits for a few days now, but that's the extent of the story.

Well, almost.

You see, as much as I love fresh raw figs (especially picked ripe off a tree), with the amount we brought home, I knew there would be plenty to play around with too. So I immediately started browsing around my usual recipe sites and blogs to find something that sounded just right. This was what I had decided on, but then a dear friend came into town and easily changed my mind with the proscuitto* and broil.

We were already thinking along the same lines, pairing the figs with goat cheese, and she had been dying to try a recipe her friend had shared with her. When I tried retracing the passage of the recipe through conversations, my friend said that it was likely from The French Market, a cookbook sold where she works, the glamorous and whimsical Anthropologie.

So, this simple appetizer is just too delicious to keep to myself. The concept isn't new, and the ingredients are not highly unusual, but everyone needs help with a good idea now and then. So here's one for you.

Broiled Figs with Goat Cheese and Basil
Adapted from The French Market by Joanne Harris

Turn on broiler.

Snip stems off figs (however many will fit on your cookie sheet). Slice each partially to the bottom to form quarters that create a flower-like opening in the middle. Arrange on cookie sheet.

Spoon a small amount of goat cheese onto the middle of each fig, and tuck one to two basil leaves between the cheese and the fig.

Drizzle desired amounts of balsamic vinegar and olive oil over cheese and into crevices of fruit. Season each fig with salt and pepper.

Broil in oven until cheese has begun to melt and tops have slightly browned. Remove and serve.

*We did not end up buying proscuitto. While the recipe turned out just great without it, I'm sure it would be a nice touch.

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