Figs! For my Eat Write Retreat Culinary Apps Challenge I received a box of California Figs in the mail and had to come up with an amazing appetizer featuring them. I have never cooked with figs before, so this was actually really exciting for me. Since I have no notion of what to do with them, I can just go crazy, right? Right! Luckily there was a handy information packet included in the box with the figs. For example, I didn’t realize that they are known to be a part of a Mediterranean diet. This is quite useful, because I wanted to try to eat a more Mediterranean style diet for the next few weeks so I can learn how to cook fish. Now I have all these figs that I should try to incorporate into this plan! Also, just 3-5 figs give you 5 grams of dietary fiber, so that’s pretty awesome too!
When I think of appetizers, I always think of some sort of something on some sort of bowl or plate made of food. Real specific, I know. So for this challenge I decided to go with a bowl shape. In my research, I found lots of recipes with figs being wrapped in other ingredients, like prosciutto. I figured this is a good chance to change things up a bit and rolled prosciutto, Pecorino Romano cheese, and dried basil into a pie crust, and used that as a bowl. And it worked! Bonus: the pie bowls can be made the day before!
The majority were shaped with the prosciutto facing up, because I was worried the cheese might stick to the pan. The four that faced down didn’t stick at all, and looked really cool. Next time I’ll definitely make them all like that.
I wanted to make sure I kept the figgyness of the figs figgy. I like the texture of them and wanted to use other ingredients to enhance their flavor. I still felt the need to alter them in some way, so I poached them in white wine, honey, and a bit of orange juice. I used Pinot Grigio, and it was fantastic.
With the shipment of figs I also received some tools from OXO. They really came in handy. Especially that measuring cup that twists up! It was perfect for measuring the honey and getting it to actually pour out of the cup. The cheese grater worked really well too!
And, to make this all even better, I made it for Mother’s Day so my parents were able to be my test dummies!
Ok, is it recipe time yet?
- 1 pie crust, thawed
- 1.5 oz prosciutto, chopped
- ¼ cup Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
- 1 Tbsp dried basil
- ¾ cup white wine
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 Tbsp orange juice
- 6 dried figs, halved
- 1 cup Spring Mix salad, loosely packed and ripped into smaller pieces
- Optional Garnishes: grated Pecorino Romano, and orange zest
- Heat oven to 450.
- In a small pan, cook prosciutto until it's lightly crispy, and remove to a paper towel lined bowl and let cool.
- Roll out pie dough, and evenly sprinkle cheese, basil, and ¾ of the prosicutto. Press into dough, then use a rolling pin to lightly roll ingredients into the dough.
- Cut into small circles, and shape to fit into mini-muffin pan cups. Lightly prick each with a fork.
- Bake 6-9 minutes, or until lightly browned. If made the day before, store in an airtight container.
- In a small saucepan, bring wine, honey, and orange juice to a simmer. Add halved figs, and simmer for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove figs, and continue to simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.
- Toss salad with the remaining ¼ of prosciutto and 1 Tbsp of warm poaching liquid. Place leaves into pie bowls, and top each with a piece of fig. Garnish with orange zest and romano cheese.