Thursday, August 18, 2011
Figs and orzo with goat cheese and basil
igs are a well-documented favorite with me (here, here, here and here, just to get the party started). My goodness, I love that fruit! And it's been with quite a bit of glee that I've watched local merchants bring them to town the past few years... the fruit's popularity has grown, for sure, and with that, thankfully their per-pound price has gone from the "OK, Seth's obviously going to community college to support Mom's habit" to a more reasonable place.
So when I have figs around as well as all my other favorite summer ingredients, I can't help but want to put a few of them together. The past few days I have been caught in a serious basil-tomato-parmesan-pasta loop. Tonight I thought... what if I swap out the tomatoes for figs? And then, because figs and chevre go together so beautifully, a bit of goat cheese found it's way into the bowl too. Heaven.
If figs are your thing, you gotta give this a try. And if they're not, you should still have just a bite... it might convert you.
Figs and orzo
Serves 2 as a side dish
1 cup cooked orzo or other tiny pasta shape
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced finely (optional)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped basil leaves
10 fresh figs, quartered
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
1/3 cup crumbled chevre
Salt and pepper to taste
Place orzo, garlic and olive oil in medium bowl and stir to toss well. If pasta is freshly cooked (ie, warm), this should suffice to wilt the garlic, if you choose to go that route. (I found the garlic helped cut the sweetness of the figs just right. I also felt like a walking garlic clove for a bit, so it's your call.) If you are using leftover pasta (as I was tonight) warm for a minute or two in the microwave. (Room temperature would be great with this dish, but cold-cold is not my preferred state for most dishes.)
Add the figs, pine nuts, basil and parmesan and toss again. Add the chevre last and toss gently with salt and pepper to coat the rest of the ingredients. Serve immediately!
Oh yum. I will be making that dish again. Soon.