Grilling or roasting fresh figs gives them a caramelized, sweet flavor that enhances this classic Italian-style pairing of salty cheese, cured meat and ripe fruit. Serve the figs hot off the grill as a starter, or combine them with a simple arugula salad for a light meal.
Grilled Figs with Dry Jack and Prosciutto
16 soft fresh figs
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 oz. (90 g.) dry Jack cheese, thinly sliced
3 oz. (90 g.) prosciutto, thinly sliced, each slice cut in half or thirds to make 16 pieces
Preheat a grill to medium-high and oil the grill rack.
Arrange the figs in a single layer in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle with the olive oil and turn gently to coat them with the oil.
Place the figs on the hot grill and grill, turning once or twice, until the skins start to glisten and lightly char, about 3 minutes. (Alternatively, preheat the oven to 450ºF/230ºC. Place the figs, still in the shallow baking dish, in the oven and roast, turning several times, until shiny and plump, 5-7 minutes.)
Transfer the figs to a rack (or leave in the baking dish) until cool enough to handle. Slit each fig from the stem end almost to the bottom and slip a piece of cheese and a half-slice of prosciutto into the slit. Serve at once. Serves 4-6.
Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Cheese, by Georgeanne Brennan.