Please the Eye and Tempt the Palate: Green Figs and Ham

August 21, 2012

The muse of seasonal cooking was looking out for me the other day when a neighbor casually mentioned to me that their fig tree was bearing fruit and I should drop by ‘anytime’ to pick some up. A day or so later I was driving by the house and I impulsively pulled into the driveway. Instantly I was beset by doubt. What if they didn’t really mean it!?

As I threw my car into reverse, the front door opened and I was cheerfully greeted. Feeling a bit foolish I stopped the car and got out. My wonderful neighbors had been absolutely sincere in their offer of nectar of the gods aka direct from the tree figs. I couldn’t believe my good fortune.

If you ever have the opportunity to taste fresh, local figs I strongly urge you to go for it. From your garden, a neighbor’s tree or a local farmer’s market, these figs are simply in a different league than their supermarket cousins.

For these beauties, I wanted to do something very quick and simple that would highlight their fresh from the tree flavor. After a bit of thought I decided to prepare them with goat cheese and prosciutto, and because it is so simple to do, drizzle the finished product with a Port reduction. KISS - Keep it seasonal and simple™!

When they came out of the oven they were so exquisitely beautiful to the eyes and the nose through their absolutely heavenly aroma.

For this photo I’ve served them on a silver platter with a neoclassical design and plated them on a simple white dish. My husband - always referred to as Mr. Magpies in my articles and posts - couldn’t wait for me to finish taking the photos. I think the figs were gone in less time than it took to take the photos!

wrapped figs

Green Figs and Ham

6 fresh, ripe figs (any variety)
6 slices prosciutto or thin sliced country ham
6 small slices of goat cheese (either a soft or mature variety)
1 cup Port (please use a Port you’d actually drink, vs a ‘cooking’ port)

Preheat the broiler on high. Place the Port in a small saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and reduce until thick and syrupy, about 7-9 minutes.

While the Port is reducing, slice the figs. You can either cut them in a X-shape going almost the bottom, or keep it simple and cut them in half. Place a slice of cheese in the X and then wrap around the outside of the fig with a slice of prosciutto. If you’ve chosen to cut the figs in half, place the cheese in between the two halves of fig and then wrap with prosciutto.

Place the figs on a baking sheet and broil under high heat for 2-3 minutes. Place on your serving platter and drizzle with the Port reduction.

Serve and enjoy!

Nancy Stuckwisch of Silver Magpies has had a life-long fascination with vintage silver. She loves to cook and entertain and believes we should get the silverware out of the cupboard, onto the table, and then into the dishwasher. She writes for her own blog and is a regular columnist for Silver Magazine.



Shelley's picture

What a scrumptious and easy fig recipe!

Shelley's picture

My husband has this extraordinary yen for figs, and on occasion a glass of port.

The marriage of the fig and port will place will place him in heaven!

PS You have inspired me to bring out my silver to serve this delectable!

Many thanks!

Nancy Stuckwisch's picture

Thanks! So glad you like it.

- Nan

Claire Tompkins's picture

Hi, Nan,
What's the story with the knife in the first photo? It's got an intricate pattern on the slicing part. I haven't seen that before.

Nancy Stuckwisch's picture

Hi Claire -

The knife is a master butter knife used to cut butter and then transfer it to your side plate. I can't the remember the last time I used one for butter...but I love to use them to cut soft foods...fruit and cake are two particular faves.

The pattern on the blade part is called brightwork, which is a type of engraving. This butter knife is all sterling (like a fork) and so the blade was engraved as an extension of the decoration on the handle.

Thanks for asking!


Cookie O'Cornwall's picture

Super! Any excuse for Port has to be a wonderful thing.