My favorite part about working (interning) for a food magazine is all the free food (and wine) we get to eat/take home. In June, people from the California Fig Association gave the Food Arts‘ office a visit and brought with them all nature of fresh and dried figs, along with a fig-focused lunch—yum! I don’t think I had ever tasted a pure fig up until that point. Prior to that fateful encounter, I think figs had only ever entered my mouth by way of the Fig Newton. I don’t remember when that was (maybe sometime in the late ’90s), but I doubt it paid any justice to an actual fig.
After this visit I was inspired to put the dried figs I had taken home as swag to good use, and my friend’s wine party was the perfect occasion. This makes a handy appetizer for parties because it already comes on a toothpick! The combination of salt, sweet, fruit, smoke, and tang is wonderful. One future note—which I included in the instructions below—is to be sure to flip the figs over during the cooking process. I neglected this step and the part touching the pan got a little…”crispier”…than I would have liked.
- dried figs, sliced in half (I used the Calimyrna variety)
- goat cheese
- black pepper
- balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 450˚F.
- For each portion, lay out half a strip of bacon; top with fig half and approximately 1/2 tsp. goat cheese; wrap bacon around and secure with toothpick.
- Continue assembly procedure with as many servings as you choose to prepare.
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and season with pepper.
- Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes, flipping figs halfway through.