Since I have been harvesting Black Mission Figs for the last week, I thought I would share this fig and prosciutto appetizer recipe. It only has a few ingredients, is simple to prepare, and yet has a very elegant (almost decadent) flavor. These bite-sized morsels are great passed on a tray, or you can serve them with beautiful greens and herbs to make a lovely fall salad.
This prosciutto wrapped fig is seriously like a party in your mouth: Sweet meets salty meets earthy meets spicy meets tangy. The fig’s creamy texture is punctuated by the crisp arugula and the crunch of the pepper.
So as I head behind the “orange curtain” this weekend to celebrate my father’s birthday, I can’t think of a better recipe to share. After all, it was my father who introduced me to this delicious fruit, and I cannot think of a better nod to him and our Italian heritage than an appetizer that combines so many of the autumn staples of my childhood home. Happy Birthday, Dad!
Prosciutto and Fig Appetizer
Makes 16 pieces
8 figs sliced in half, stems removed
Juice of one lemon (Meyer, if you’ve got ‘em)
A few table spoons of extra virgin olive oil
Cracked black pepper *
16 pieces of arugula
¼ lb imported Prosciutto (best quality and thinly sliced)
Lay the fig slices skin side down on a cutting board and drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Then sprinkle with pepper and sea salt. Lay a piece of arugula on each piece of fig. Separate the prosciutto into roughly 5” x 2” slices and fold the ends in creating a strip of prosciutto with clean sides. Wrap the prosciutto around the fig and smooth it down – the olive oil will be your friend here. Arrange on a platter, and serve.
*Avoid the temptation to use a pepper grinder here. Simply lay about 10 peppercorns on a cutting board and crush them with a round-bottomed bowl. This will result in very coarsely ground pepper and will truly enhance this appetizer from status quo to amazing. People will ask you what that flavor is and it makes me smile inside when I say – Oh that? That’s just pepper (and it is, it’s really just pepper).