07 August 2007
An Indulgence for Fig Season
I will offer you the fact that this is technically a salad. Granted, it involves things both cheese-stuffed and bacon-wrapped, but it is a salad. And actually, I think the true object of indulgence in this dish is, that apple of my eye, the fig. Keeping my promise of more fig recipes, I offer you this salad with cheesy-bacon wrapped figs.
While it sounds terrifically indulgent, I think this dish has just the right balance of things. Figs are stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon and put under the broiler so that the figs warm, the cheese oozes from their center, and the bacon is crispy. Situated over a bed of greens, which absorb a bit of bacon juices, it's the perfect thing to eat with a knife and fork: each bite gets a good bunch of greens accented by a little warm, figgy bacon goodness. The portions are just right, with just enough cheese and meat for flavorful accent, but not overly indulgent. While this is good with just about any cheese, I like to use a creamy one that will melt nicely, like Camembert or Pont L'Eveque.
Salad with Cheesy Bacon-Wrapped Figs
I think just about any cheese works in this wonderful salad, I like to use a creamy cheese like Camembert, but goats cheese and blue cheese are other good choices. Inspired by Gourmet. Serves 4.
4 oz cheese of choice
8 strips of bacon
mesclun (mixed salad greens)
lemon juice, salt
1. Preheat the broiler. In a skillet saute the bacon until most of the fat is rendered off but the bacon is still pliable, about 7-10 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
2. Use a knife to cut a small cone out of the base of a fig. Take a small ball of cheese and shove it up into the middle of the fig, then, replace the fig bottom. Repeat with remaining figs. Wrap each fig with a strip of bacon, secure with a toothpick, and place on a baking sheet. Place the figs under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, until the bacon is crispy.
3. Toss the greens with lemon juice and salt, then divide between four plates. Take a little of the bacon juice from the bottom of roasting pan and drizzle over the greens. Place two figs on each plate (removing the toothpicks), serve immediately.