The first time I was introduced to a fig and goat cheese combination, I happened to be on a really hot date, a really long time ago. Jack (not his real name) was semi-famous in our small town of Santa Barbara and all the girls swooned when he came around. When he showed up on his motorcycle, 6’4 and 200lbs of muscle looking like “the Rock,” I started to sweat. I’m not sure if I was more afraid of hopping on the back of his motorcycle or the fact I was totally out of my league. Either way, I managed to keep my cool, hopped on the back of his bike and made tracks.
After what seemed like an eternity, we arrived at these beautiful bluffs overlooking the ocean. Jack had somehow managed to pack wine, a French baguette, goat cheese and these delicious figs in syrup. Being the cynic I am, I tried not to roll my eyes as he was laying everything out. Though I appreciated the romantic gesture, I felt embarrassed at how clichéd everything felt. Clearly, I had no game.
Goat cheese with figs on crusty French bread was delicious! The date, not so much. Let’s just say the only thing in my mouth that night was food. Though Jack was handsome, sweet and a gentleman, it turned out he was also painfully boring. Like I tell my son, “pretty is the cherry on the cake but it’s the smallest part and certainly not the best.”
This dish however is hot, sexy and far from mundane. Grilled bread is delicious and makes a wonderful canvas from which to build. Add the tanginess of the goat cheese, the sweetness of the figs, the herbacious notes of Rosemary and together you have a marriage made in Heaven. Well, at least it worked out well for one of us.
- ½ loaf of Rosemary sourdough bread
- 4Tbsp of butter
- 1 pint of fresh figs
- 2 tsp of honey (or more if not very sweet)
- 8 oz of goat cheese, preferably extra tangy
- few sprigs of Rosemary for garnish
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- *optional: if your figs aren't very sweet, you can use a few tablespoons of fig jam, 2 tsp of water and mix over medium-low heat in a sautee pan until thin consistency, about 3 minutes.
- Heat your grill to medium heat. Cut your bread into individual servings. Lightly butter each side. Grill each side of bread until desired crispiness is achieved. About 2-3 minutes per side depending on thickness. Set aside.
- Set your oven to 400 F. Cut the ends off the figs and cut lengthwise. Place all figs cut-side up on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Drizzle honey over figs. Bake for about 20 minutes or until very tender. Remove from oven and pulse in a food processor a few times until blended but still chunky.
- Allow your goat cheese to come to room temperature and spread on grilled bread. Sprinkle a touch of salt, pepper and rosemary. Take about 2 Tbsp of fig mixture and set in the center of the bread. Drizzle fig jam to your liking. Top with a thin slice of fig and a Rosemary sprig. Serve immediately.