What are you going to do if one day you receive the most beautiful figs you’ve ever seen? You admire them for about half an hour, you take some photos, you dress them up (meaning you stuff them with goat cheese and you wrap them in prosciutto) and you indulge.
I’ve always loved sweet and salty dishes, and this recipe is the quintessence of this combination. The sweetness of the figs goes wonderfully with the saltiness of the prosciutto and the tartness of the goat cheeses quiets down the richness of the fruit. The result is a mouthwatering sweet and salty appetizer, simple yet elegant, rich yet fresh.
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
- 4 large figs
- 40g goat cheese
- 2 slices of prosciutto
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar reduction
- Preheat the oven at 180°C / 350°F (gas mark 4).
- Wash the figs and pat them dry. Cut off their stem and cut an X in the top of each fig, 1/3 way through.
- Crumble the goat cheese and stuff each cavity with about 1 tsp of cheese.
- Halve the prosciutto lengthwise and wrap each fig with half a slice of prosciutto.
- Secure the prosciutto with a toothpick.
- Place the stuffed figs in a parchment paper-lined tray and bake them in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Leave them to cool down for 10 minutes before serving. Remove the skewer. Drizzle them with about 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar reduction just before serving.
This lovely canapés are more than suitable for spring. The base is a delicious homemade nigella seed focaccia which is topped with tangy goat cheese, juicy strawberry slices, smoky Prosciutto roses, fresh mint ribbons and a balsamic vinegar reduction. I simply love balsamic vinegar reduction, it’s such a versatile condiment; its acid and slightly sweet taste and its unmistakable aroma go wonderfully with different types of cheese, vegetables and fruits and it tastes divine paired with vanilla-flavored desserts, too. Since it’s springtime and my garden abounds with flowers, I decided I should garnish my canapés with edible flowers, just for aesthetic reasons.
For my canapés I used homemade focaccia (I used this recipe). The only changes I’ve made are the following: I prepared the dough, I placed it in a bowl, I covered it with cling film and I refrigerated it overnight. The next morning I kneaded the dough and I rolled the bread, I garnished it with nigella seeds and I drizzled it with olive oil. After 1 hour of rising, I baked it for about 20 minutes.
I usually make my own balsamic vinegar reduction. I add 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to a saucepan and I boil it until the liquid becomes syrupy and reduces by 1/3 cup. I pour the reduction in a jar and I leave it to reach room temperature before refrigerating it. Since it thickens considerably as it cools down, I reheat it in warm water before using. Continue reading Spring Canapés (Focaccia with Goat Cheese, Strawberries, Prosciutto and Balsamic Reduction)
As soon as the first leaf turns brown, I immediately start preparing soups, creams, stews and other semi-liquid and preferably hot dishes. I simply love the idea of having a melting pot on a stove, a pot that simmers quietly and makes the entire kitchen smell like fall. On this chilly Saturday morning, I decided it’s suitable, if not perfect, to make a delicious Tuscan bean soup, a flavorful Italian cannellini bean and prosciutto soup. It is so easy to make, you just have to saute some prosciutto, onion, carrots and celery, you deglaze the pan with wine, you cover the ingredients with cubed tomatoes and broth and you let the soup simmer. Before serving you add the beans and some baby spinach and the soup is ready. Simple as one, two, thee! The most intriguing part of this dish, and the source of its complex flavor profile, if I may, it’s the addition of a parmesan rind. This element gives the soup an unbelievable flavor! Next time you’ll be tempted to throw away a parmesan rind, think again and let the rind elevate a Tuscan bean soup. You won’t regret it! Continue reading Tuscan Bean Soup
This salad is actually a different approach to the classic “Prosciutto e Melone”, a very popular Italian antipasto. The smoked ham and the juicy melon are a wonderful combination, as the sweetness of the melon balances the saltiness of the ham. This combination is so simple but so complex in its own simplicity. So I took these two elements and I’ve integrated them in a summery salad. I added some juicy cherry tomatoes, some crunchy cucumber ribbons and some fresh mozzarella cheese. The result was a juicy, delicious and very satisfying salad. Extremely tasty and incredibly easy to make! Continue reading Melon and Prosciutto Crudo Salad