Feta Stuffed Fig
Figs Stuffed with Feta Wrapped with Pasthourma
I love this incredibly easy meze because you get all the great flavors in one mouthful: barnyard/earthy (depending on the cheese), salty, sweet. Wrap the figs the night before if you like. Store in a covered container and bring back to room temperature before serving raw or searing as below. If you can find really moist, dark purple dried figs, they can be substituted for fresh figs. Pasthourma is a heavily spiced version of bresaola, with a thick spice layer visible on the outside.
Yield: 20 to 30 mouthfuls
* For an earthy, woodsy flavor, substitute blue cheese for the feta.
* Try a soft goat cheese, or any soft and stinky cheese you like.
* Substitute very soft and plump dried apricots for the figs.
- 10 ripe black Mission figs
- 3 to 4 ounces feta cheese, in a block
- Leaves only from 2 small, picked sprigs of thyme
- Cracked black pepper
- 10 thin slices of pasthourma or bresaola
- Halve the figs through the stem (if you find very large figs, quarter them). Scoop up about 1 teaspoon of the feta and place in the center of the cut side (the feta should be just big enough to cover the pink part of the fig). Push a few little leaves of thyme into the cheese and grind a little pepper over the top.
- Halve the pasthourma or bresaola slices crosswise. Place a stuffed fig on one short end and wrap up snugly. Prepare the remaining figs in the same way.
- Serve the figs as is, or, grill or sauté them briefly to crisp the meat and release the woodsy flavor of the thyme.
To grill: Lightly brush the outside of each fig with a little olive oil and place on a hot charcoal or gas grill for 30 to 45 seconds, turning with tongs, just to char the meat slightly.
To sauté: In a hot pan with a tablespoon of olive oil, sear the fig packages just until the meat is slightly golden and crisped in a few places.