From the late summer through fall, local figs are abundant, many of them from old orchards. A tree in the garden of Alexander Valley Vineyards bears both white and black figs, the trunks of two trees having woven themselves together more than a hundred years ago.
6 fresh figs
3 ounces Teleme
3 strips of bacon, fried
until not quite crisp, drained
1 small shallot, minced
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 strips of bacon, diced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
6 cups fall salad mix
Black pepper in a mill
Prepare a charcoal fire in an outdoor grill or heat a stove-top grill.
Use a paring knife to make a lengthwise slit in each fig and press a small amount of Teleme into each slit. Cut the bacon slices in half and wrap each filled fig with a strip, using a toothpick to secure the bacon. Cover the filled figs with a tea towel and set them aside. Put the shallot in a small bowl, pour the vinegar over it, and set it aside for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, fry the diced bacon in a small sauté pan until it is crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer it to absorbent paper. Drain off and discard all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat, add the shallot and vinegar mixture, the olive oil, and the parsley, and heat through. Remove from the heat immediately and stir in the bacon.
Grill the figs, turning them frequently, until the bacon is crisp and the cheese heated through, about 5 to 6 minutes; do not overcook or the cheese will ooze out onto the grill.
Place the salad greens in a large salad bowl, sprinkle with salt, and toss lightly. Pour the dressing over the greens, toss thoroughly, and season with black pepper. Divide the greens among individual plates, top each serving with a fig, and serve immediately.
To drink: Dumol 1998 Chardonnay P.R.
The New Cook's Tour of Sonoma
By Michele Anna Jordan
Sasquatch Books, 2000
320 pages, full color photographs
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created June 2001
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