Produce here in Umbria tends to be very seasonal and you learn very quickly to appreciate it while you have it because all too soon it will be gone. When we first arrive to Umbria in the spring, the market stalls have bins overflowing with fresh fava beans, artichokes, and asparagus. Before you know it those items are no longer available and you’ll have to wait until next year to enjoy them again. The one positive aspect about this is that most of the produce sold here is grown within Italy and in fact usually locally, so you know that what you are getting is very fresh and hasn’t been shipped over from South America or parts unknown.
Now that we are in the heart of summer, stone fruit is everywhere, and tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplants are available locally grown. My favorite fruit of all, figs, are starting to appear in local stores and markets as well. I love figs, so when they are available I can eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and not tire of them. White summer figs are just now being sold, so when I saw them on a recent trip to the Perugia market I picked some up. I had family visiting at the time, so I decided to use my figs for a light appetizer, first stuffed with goat cheese, and then wrapped with prosciutto. Just before serving, I drizzled the figs with a little aged balsamic vinegar and they were delicious. Unfortunately, the stuffed wrapped figs were not as attractive to look at as I’d like, so I had trouble getting a good photograph of them, but I don’t think looks are that important when food tastes as good as this!
My daughter wanted me to roast the figs long enough to get the prosciutto crispy, but I found that the figs broke down too much when I cooked them that long. I prefer to cook the figs just until they warm up and for the cheese just to start to melt. I’ve made these figs with both Gorgonzola cheese and goat cheese and both are delicious, so choose whichever one you prefer!
Deborah Mele 2013
Prosciutto Wrapped Stuffed Summer Figs
- 8 Medium to Large Size Figs
- 8 Tablespoons Soft Goat Cheese or Gorgonzola Cheese
- 8 Thin Slices Prosciutto
- Aged Balsamic Vinegar
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Cut a cross in the top of each of the figs and open slightly.
- Push a tablespoon of the cheese into the fig, then wrap securely in the slice of prosciutto and secure with toothpicks.
- Place the figs on a baking sheet, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cheese begins to melt.
- Serve on a plater with a drizzle of the aged balsamic vinegar on top.