These grilled figs with pancetta, goat’s cheese and thyme are absolutely delicious! I picked up a few of these beautiful late-summer fruit from https://farmerandson.com.au at my local market.
Did you know that the fig tree, believed to be native to Syria, is one of the oldest plants in civilisation? Scientists have discovered remains of figs, grown about 11,400 years ago. These appear to be the earliest known cultivated fruit crop, and therefore are perhaps the first evidence anywhere of the beginnings of agriculture. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/312/5778/1372.abstract To ancient pilgrims, the fruit of the fig was highly valued because it could be dried, stored and also carried long distances.
Figs are in season right now, but they’re a delicate fruit, so handle them gently, and eat them with a day or two of purchase. The figs can be prepared a couple of hours in advance with the cheese and pancetta, then covered and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to grill them. If you’re using toasted nuts instead of pancetta, sprinkle them on top after grilling. They’re best eaten as soon as you’ve cooked them. I’m serving my figs tonight – poolside!
Here’s a lovely recipe which uses dried figs: https://atamandastable.com.au/fig-and-olive-herb-paste/
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Grilled Figs with Pancetta, Goat's Cheese and Thyme
- 6 ripe, medium-sized figs
- 30 g sliced pancetta 3 slices, finely chopped
- 30 g goat's cheese
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme leaves removed from stems
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped toasted nuts hazelnuts, walnuts or almonds
- Preheat grill to 200°C and line an oven tray with foil.
- Wash and slice figs in half, through their stems.
- Arrange figs, cut side up, on the oven tray.
- Put a tiny dollop of goat's cheese in the centre of the fig.
- Add a few pieces of the chopped pancetta (or nuts of you prefer).
- Top with a few thyme leaves.
- Grill for 5 - 7 minutes on the top shelf. Watch them carefully - they can burn quickly!
- Serve immediately.