Ages ago I took a catering class with Judith Ets-Hokin at the Home Chef cooking school she used to have in Laurel Village. This was one of the recipes we made in class–though the original called for dried figs–and it has been a staple of mine ever since. The sweet figs, tart goat cheese, salty prosciutto and bitter greens make for a pretty, flavorful and easy to throw together appetizer.
Mom’s garden is usually bursting with figs at this time of year, but the birds have been hungry, so the yield has been small. She was able to scrabble together a couple of baskets, and I thought the brilliant color and bright flavor of the fresh figs would make a nice substitute for the tangier dried figs I’ve used in the past.
Prosciutto, Fig, Goat Cheese and Arugula Bites (makes 20)
10 Black Mission figs, cut in half and each half cut into three pieces
8 oz. (225g) plain goat cheese (chevre), room temperature
A few handfuls of arugula leaves (rocket), washed and thoroughly dried–arugula can come in different sizes, it doesn’t matter if you use large or small leaves
10 thin slices of prosciutto
Prosciutto can be delicate and might start to fall apart as you spread the cheese, etc., but soldier on. In the end it will all hold together well enough.
Keep the prosciutto you’re not using covered so it doesn’t dry out.
Divide the goat cheese into 10 portions. Spread one portion across a slice of prosciutto. It doesn’t have to cover the whole slice, but there should be a little bit of it running the full length.
Lay some arugula along both edges of the prosciutto making sure it overlaps the edge.
Add three pieces of fig evenly spaced along the length of the prosciutto, gently pressing them into the cheese.
Starting at one of the short ends, carefully roll everything up, keeping things tight as you go.
Using a very sharp knife, cut the roll in two.Serve immediately, cut side down, or refrigerate for up to one day. If you are making these ahead, cover them well so the prosciutto doesn’t dry out. And it wouldn’t hurt to lay a lightly damp paper towel over the top.