There are two savory combinations with figs that are absolutely successful: anchovies and ham. It is clear that there are certain ingredients that in their sweet-savory mix work perfectly and generally make great appetizers or first courses. Just like the recovery of the mythical melon with ham that is so much eaten in Spain in the summer, this appetizer is perfect to end the hot weeks and make the transition to autumn. Now is when the best figs of the season arrive, although we could make the recipe with their predecessors, the figs.
This recipe is slightly reminiscent of fig toast with mochama and ricotta, which could also be made with this easy-to-prepare base. The dumpling dough, the wafers, are dipped in beaten egg and baked and can be topped with any combination of ingredients. The beaten egg, in addition to gloss, gives them the ability to keep the ingredients on top longer without losing the crunch.
The recipe includes a fresh cow’s cheese, which is crushed with a fork until it becomes a paste, but you can also use a cottage cheese, a cheese summer-house or some creamier cheese like burrata or a cheese smoothie. Nuts could be cashews and hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios, almonds or whatever else anyone wants. It will be necessary to season the mixture with a little black pepper, which is amazing.
The recipe could also be made with another type of base, such as traditional crusty pastry or puff pastry, such as mushroom, pine nut and tarragon puff pastry. Don’t forget, too, that figs, cheese and ham could make a great salad without the need for a base.
Figs with cheese and ham
Wafers for pasta, 4 pieces
Fresh cow’s cheese, 150 g
Cashews, 50 g
Ground black pepper, to taste
Figs, 6 units
Egg, 1 pc
Serrano ham slices, 6 units
Coriander or parsley, to taste
Extra virgin olive oil, a splash
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Beat the egg until everything is incorporated. Brush the empanadilla wafers with the egg on one side and place them on the baking tray separately from each other. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before handling.
Meanwhile, mash the cheese with a fork. Pulse the cashews in a food processor or with a knife until very finely chopped. Mix the cashews with the cheese and also add salt and ground black pepper.
Wash the figs and cut them into pieces, eight pieces can easily come out of each fig.
When the crispy wafers have already cooled, we separate them from the accompanying paper and place them on the tray to be served. Put a layer of the cheese and cashew mixture.
Top with four pieces of fig, or more, according to everyone’s taste. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and also the slices of Serrano ham. If you like, you can add some coriander or parsley leaves to finish. Serve immediately.