Figs. FIGS! Black mission, adriatic, brown turkey. I love them all. And I dream.
I dream of one day having a fig tree in my backyard, just like the one my friend's 'Oma' had in hers. I dream of a brown wicker basket hanging from my forearm, one that leaves painful indentations in my skin from the weight of my Saturday morning collections.
I dream of making hors d'oeuvres and jam, salads and tarts, and taking them over to my friends' homes on a Saturday afternoon in my newest sundress. We'll be drinking champagne at dusk and ending the night with sauterne. There'll be strands of globe lights hanging in the trees above our wooden picnic table and candles in hurricanes at our sides. And in between each bite, the scent of jasmine growing on the side of the yard whooshes in from the Santa Ana winds.
That's my dream and I'm sticking to it.
Figs are an early/late summer thing, but I was lucky enough to receive a few early bloomers from a neighbor a couple of weeks ago. As some of you may know, I've been on a prosciutto kick lately and for that I make no apologies.
Figs and prosciutto are a pretty classic combination but if you are vegetarian, the leeks and gruyere in this dish more than make up for the loss of pork.
INGREDIENTS: (makes 48 hors d’oeuvres)
- 1 package puff pastry (17.3 oz./ 2, 9x9 pre-rolled sheets)
- 3½ tbsp. olive oil
- 3 cups sliced leeks
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 4 oz. gruyere, finely shredded
- 3 large figs, sliced into ¾” pieces
- 4 slices prosciutto, cut into 1” pieces
- arugula leaves, to garnish
- balsamic vinegar, to drizzle
-Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line two sheet trays w/ parchment and spray with nonstick oil.
-When unfolded, each pastry sheet will have 3 rectangles. Cut each rectangle at the seam (now there should be a total of 6 rectangles). Setting each piece horizontally, cut vertically into 4 even squares, then cut those squares in half lengthwise. The end result should be 48, 2¼” x 1¼” pieces. -Place the pastry pieces on the parchment, leaving 1” of space between each.
-Score a ¼” border around each rectangle.
-For the leeks: set a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat and add the olive oil.
-When olive oil is warm, add the leeks and salt and sauté until translucent, about 10-12 minutes (there should be 1 cup after cooking); Set aside.
-Brush puff pastry rectangles with egg wash.
-Staying within the border (it doesn’t have to be perfect), place a small amount of leeks, then the cheese and then the fig and prosciutto pieces.
-Bake 12-14 minutes until golden. -When done, top each with an arugula leaf then drizzle with balsamic vinegar.