I adore fresh figs. Soft with their jammy, sticky interiors, so deliciously sweet. They are in season right now and I have to admit to eating more than fair share of figs in this household. Pinched out of the fruit bowl, sliced over some fresh ricotta sandwich or torn over a bowl of hot porridge, I can’t get enough of their sweetness.
And although most of the time, I enjoy figs on the sweet side, I think they also make a wonderful addition to savoury dishes such as salads. But when I want to push the boat out a little, I love to pair their sweetness with the contrasting sharpness of feta and saltiness of Parma ham in my savoury baked figs.
This dish is all about the contrasting flavours as well as textures. When baked, the figs become a little softer, the feta cubes start to brown and melt and the Parma ham’s crunchy embrace catches the delicious juices. Savoury yet sweet. Sprinkled with fresh, heady thyme before the bake and drizzled with a little of honey afterwards, this is an elegant starter that takes no time at all to prepare. And makes an easy Sunday night dinner keeping that weekend feeling going for a little longer.
Do use ripe figs for this dish allowing two figs per person if serving as a starter. With some fresh rocket on the side and a crisp wine to match it, this is a little heaven on the plate. Trust me. Here is the recipe.
- 8 figs (2 figs per person)
- 40 grams of feta cheese
- 8 slices of Parma ham
- few sprigs of fresh thyme
- runny honey to drizzle
- rocket leaves to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Wash and dry the figs. Cut off their tips and using a sharp knife make deep cuts in each fig, almost cutting it into quarters but not quite.
Now cut each Parma ham slice into half, lengthways. Wrap each fig in the ham slices like a collar, making sure they overlap each other. These don’t need to be tight but do ensure you tuck any loose edges underneath the figs.
Place the figs into an oven safe dish ensuring they have enough space without touching. Sprinkle some fresh thyme over the figs and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cheese has started to brown and the ham has become crip.
Remove from the oven and straight away drizzle the figs with some honey. Allow to rest for two minutes or so.
Serve with some fresh rocket making sure you drizzle the baking juices over the figs as you serve. Enjoy x