Cook

Figs, Prosciutto & St.-André Cheese

I discovered this oh-so-simple-but-amazing-looking appetizer when I was assisting as food stylist on a photo shoot for a Williams-Sonoma cookbook called Summer. That was an unmentionable number of years ago but I still like to rock this recipe featuring one of my favorite summer ingredients - figs!

Summer  was one of four books in a seasonal series featuring the flawless recipes of Joanne Weir. She has her own cooking show, published numerous books, hosted cooking classes around the world and opened a pretty happening Mexican restaurant in Sausalito - she will laugh when she finds out I'm STILL dragging these books out.  But hey, making beautiful but tasty food is no laughing matter - especially when the recipes are as reliable as hers.

Apart from just looking incredible, this dish fits my other criteria for easy entertaining. There's a "can be made ahead" option - the dressing. Otherwise, you only need a few outstanding ingredients and a couple of minutes to throw it all together.

I say forget all that fussing over time-consuming canapé. It's a lot more fun to spend your time choosing that just right piece of jewelry for your event!

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup crème fraîche
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh mint, plus mint sprigs for
      garnish
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 tsp. milk
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 12 ripe figs, a single variety or a mixture
  • 6 oz. St.-André or other triple-cream cheese,
      such as Explorateur, cut into 12 wedges
  • 3 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto

Directions:

In a small bowl, whisk together the crème fraîche, chopped mint, lemon juice and as much of the milk as needed to form a thick, creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Halve the figs and arrange them on individual plates or a platter. Intersperse the wedges of cheese among the figs. Drape the prosciutto around the figs and drizzle with the crème fraîche mixture. Garnish with mint sprigs and serve.