Pan-seared Figs with Balsamic Reduction, Prosciutto and Cheese
(serves 8 as appetizer)
Salad, Appetizer or even Dessert
While you can certainly serve this recipe as a salad in individual portions, we like to put it together on one large platter for a more informal gathering among friends. Or, pretend you are seaside on the Adriatic and serve it as an after dinner course, minus the greens.
10-12 ripe figs
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 lb thinly sliced prosciutto
1 wedge or log of tangy goat cheese
(Cypress Grove’s Humboldt Fog pictured)
1 head of leaf lettuce or small bunch of assorted greens (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil (optional)
salt & pepper (optional)
Combine the balsamic vinegar and the granulated sugar in a NONSTICK sauté pan. Bring to a boil over medium/high heat. Reduce heat to low and bring to a simmer. Stir or swirl the pan gently until a syrupy consistency is reached and the vinegar is reduced to 1/3 of original volume. Dip a spoon into the vinegar. If it coats the back of the spoon evenly, the reduction is ready. Pour the reduction into a bowl to cool completely before serving. (Any remaining reduction can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for about a week.)
Wipe out the sauté pan. Slice the figs in half lengthwise. Melt the butter in the pan over medium heat. Once it starts to bubble, sear the figs, cut- side down, in the pan. After about 2-3 minutes, gently turn the figs over. Lower the heat and continue to cook until they are softened throughout. Once there is a little spitting and hissing going on in the pan (that’s the figs’ juices being released), the figs are done.
Drizzle the olive oil over lettuce and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange with all the remaining ingredients on a platter. Drizzle balsamic reduction over figs and serve remaining reduction in a small bowl.
Any type or an assortment of fresh figs will work for this recipe, as long as they are ripe. A tangy goat cheese such as Cypress Grove’s Humboldt Fog lends the right notes to the sweetness of the figs and balsamic as well as the saltiness of the prosciutto.