When summer temperatures creep towards the triple digits, the desire to fuss in the kitchen is not as keen. I find that my summer cooking really differs from my winter style quite drastically—perhaps you are the same way? In the colder months, I love spending hours in the kitchen, sheltered from the cold and the typical Northern Californian winter rain, coaxing braises and baked treats in the oven. Those are the days my oven is on all day long, churning out luscious and comforting dinners by afternoon’s end.
But once the summer sun emerges, I do my best to stay out of the kitchen. You know by now that most dinners are prepared on the grill, and that I try not to fire up that oven, opting for effortless desserts that showcase the season’s fresh, sweet fruit.
And for me, one of summer’s best fruits are the figs.
My friends will tell you: I love figs. I love cheese. And I love wine. So when it comes to simple summer entertaining, I think that some of the best gatherings you can have with friends revolve around the concept of not cooking.
When you can embrace this idea, the stress of entertaining can roll off your shoulders. By focusing more on excellent ingredients rather than preparing them, you can focus more on your guests—and I am willing to bet that they might welcome a get together that is completely without formality.
Pick up a the freshest baguette you can find. Head to the market and bring home the sweetest figs. Source out lovingly cured charcuterie and creamy goat cheese. Dried nuts and fruits round it out. That’s all you need! If you like, indulge in a silky mound of burrata. But keep it simple and you’ll be pouring out wine in no time.
For me, the best way to enjoy figs is smothered with some honeyed goat cheese. Alternate bites with a slice of salami or prosciutto. A nibble of bread. A sip of wine. I think you get the idea.
Honeyed Goat Cheese & Fig Crostini
If you can find creamed honey, you will probably find it to be better than regular liquid honey. I adore its smooth texture and flavor, and think it especially works well when blending it with goat cheese. This combination is perfect on a crostini as an appetizer, but satisfying enough for a dessert on its own.
- 2 lbs fresh figs
- 12 oz goat cheese
- 1/4 cup creamed honey
- 2 small best quality salami, thinly sliced
- 1-2 baguettes, sliced
Trim the stems and slice the figs. In a small bowl, cream together the goat cheese and creamed honey. After that, there are no rules! Assemble the crostini yourself, or allow guests to smother the honeyed goat cheese on a slice of baguette and top with figs and salami. I prefer the latter method.