While many associate the end of summer with the last crop of peaches and tomatoes, we think of the forgotten fig. Before traveling to the Mediterranean, we only used the fruit dried and caramelized with onions in a compote-like spread. While delicious, we were unaware of the beauty of a freshly cut fig. In Greek cooking, the sleek and shiny dark gem with a seedy bright pink interior is often served alongside bread dipped in olive oil, assorted cheeses and olives.
Still on our summer grilling high, we decided to celebrate Black Mission figs skewered with one of our favorite Mediterranean cheeses, Halloumi. We first experimented with the nutty, firm cheese after Marni’s trip to Cyprus: Fried Halloumi Cheese with Lemon and Caper Vinaigrette. Since the cheese can withstand heat, grilling was an obvious summer preparation method. The simple composition-sweet and smooth figs, chewy, salty halloumi and thick and tangy balsamic vinegar- creates a complex combination of flavors and textures.
Grilled Fig and Halloumi Skewers with Balsamic Glaze
20 Fresh Black Mission figs cut in half
8 oz Halloumi cheese cut into 1-inch chunks
3 T EVOO
Balsamic Glaze(we used Modenaceti)
Preheat grill to medium high heat. On skewers, alternate the fig halves and Halloumi chunks, about two of each per skewer. Brush both sides with EVOO and place on the grill. Grill for 3-5 minutes, until dark grill marks appear. Flip and grill for another 3-5 minutes. Set the skewers on a platter and drizzle with the balsamic glaze. Makes 10 skewers.
The natural sugars of the figs caramelize over into the melty cheese. Serve the skewers as is, with torn baguette slices, or fanned atop mixed greens!