After a gorgeous (and virtually internet-less) week with friends in an adorable village on the coast of Portugal called Sao Martinho do Porto, Eugene and I flew to Spain, where we'll be spending the next week doing a bit more traveling.
I already have dozens and dozens of photos and stories and recipe ideas to share with you once I get back to New York, but I couldn't resist taking advantage of the super fast WiFi (pronounced "wee-fee" here) in our guesthouse here, to share a quick post and recipe with you.
We bought meat from the local butcher, picked up fresh produce from the outdoor market, and popped into the local InterMarche (a supermarket) to browse the aisles and stock up on necessities like little glass pots of yogurt, salted golden butter, local spices, and freshly-baked rolls and pastries from the bakery.
I whipped that lovely yogurt up with herbs to make dips, roasted tiny potatoes with loads of garlic and oil, and tossed peppery watercress with simple vinaigrettes.
We opened up bottle after bottle of wine, and for dessert split Portuguese pastries, fruit, and frozen Magnum bars.
Caldas da Rainha.
Bright green, tender, and dripping with honey, this lush variety of fig from Alcobaça is called the Pingo de Mel, or "Drop of Honey." They were on sale at the market for an incredible 1.50 euros per kilo, and so I brought home a giant bag filled with them.
I split them gently, tucked in a piece of salty cheese, and wrapped them in thin sliced of cured ham (a local prosciutto-like variety).
Nestled against each other in a small baking dish, I roasted them for about 25 minutes, until the ham crisped and the figgy honey oozed out of the little packages.
We ate them warm as an appetizer; plump, sweet, salty, and bursting with flavor.
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Roasted Prosciutto-Wrapped Stuffed Figs
Depending on how many you're serving, you can multiply this recipe as needed. This serves about 4 as an appetizer.
12 ripe fresh figs (any variety!)
1/4 pound salty cheese (such as Manchego), cut into 12 1-inch pieces
6 slices prosciutto or jamon serrano, sliced in half lengthwise
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Use a small knife to cut a slit in each fig deep enough to almost fully insert the piece of cheese. Wrap each stuffed fig with the ham (doesn't have to be perfect--just tuck it all the way around like a little blanket).
Place the wrapped figs with cut part up on a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season generously with kosher salt and black pepper.
Bake 20 - 25 minutes, or until the ham is crisp and the figs are tender. (Some of the juice and cheese will melt out--that's ok!)
Serve hot as an appetizer.
Note: The figs can be stuffed and wrapped with ham up to 8 hours in advance, then baked just before serving.