One of the things I look forward too when I win the lottery and can afford to buy a house of my own is growing my own fruit and veg. My partner’s Mum has a garden full of fresh grown produce. There are many varieties of herbs, courgettes with their beautiful blossoms, tomatoes, brussels sprouts, strawberries, rhubarb … so much good stuff.
I love the idea of being able to go in to the garden and grab some salad leaves and herbs for dinner and I always appreciate it when people gift me something they have home grown. The last week I was delighted to get an unexpected present of two beautifully ripe figs that were grown in a back-garden down in Limerick. I didn’t know you could grow figs in Ireland but now that I do a fig tree has definitely made it on to my dream house wish list.
Fresh figs are amazing, the first fresh fig I had was courtesy of my sister Deborah, the figs were poached in a spiced syrup and served with cream and that dish still ranks as one of the best deserts I have ever had. Although they are great in sweet dishes figs also work really well with savoury flavours and one of my favourite ways to serve figs is with goats cheese and Parma ham. This also a great gluten free dish.
While I only had two figs that I pretty much scoffed by myself, grudgingly sharing a few bites, the quantities I will give here would do four people if served as a starter with a few nicely dressed salad leaves.
3 fresh ripe figs, quartered. This will give you 12 quarters and each person gets 3 quarters.
5 to 6 slices of Parma ham, torn. You will need 12 strips of Parma ham
12 teaspoons of soft goats cheese. I teaspoon per fig quarter.
Pre heat over to gas 5
This is hardly a recipe as it is so simple.
- Take each fig quarter and using your thumb lightly press to make a slight divot in the centre.
- Place a teaspoon of the soft goats chees in the divot.
- Take a strip of the torn, or if you like things to be even, sliced, Parma ham and wrap it around the fig and cheese.
- Place the figs on a baking sheet and pop in the pre- heated oven for ten minutes until the figs are heated through and the ham has started to crisp up.
Serve warm, with some dressed leaves as a starter or place on a serving tray as a delicious nibble to go with drinks.