Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Quick Dish: Dried Figs Stuffed with Ricotta, Pine Nuts and Bacon

In case you didn’t know, I’m a big fan of stuffing things – pasta, roulades, jelly rolls, name it, I’ll fill it. So in the spirit of stuffing, here’s a quick appetizer that’s great for a party – or just for stuffing yourself.

24 dried figs
4 ounces ricotta cheese
4 slices cooked bacon, cut into small pieces*
Handful of toaste pine nuts
Honey for drizzling
Several basil leaves, chopped fine

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut off the tops of the figs and use a chopstick or similar tool to hollow out a bit of the center. If necessary, squish the figs gently to make them stand upright for baking.

Fill the corner of a sturdy plastic baggie with the ricotta cheese, tie to close, and snip off just the very tip to create a makeshift piping bag. Fill the cavity you made in the figs with the ricotta, then stuff a piece of bacon and a few pine nuts into the cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with basil. Serve warm.

*Try cooking the bacon in the oven: 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes, on a rack over a cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil. It’s much easier - and less splattery – than on the stove.

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