Grilled Figs and Cheese

I have a friend called T.  She can leave a person quaking in their shoes with a word and can slay dragons with her eyes.  She is certainly no one you would want to mess with.  She walks with a confidence that is both hard-earned and natural-born, can look anyone in the eye, and can wring success out of even the most stubborn situation.  She is also not scared of frogs…which is a huge deal in my book.

To the untrained eye, T may seem to be all hard edges and glacial surfaces.  Not to say the intimidating aura that floats about her is a sham.  It isn’t.  And don’t you get caught on the wrong side of that is all I can say missy!  But, that being said, beneath the ice and fire, is one of my sweetest friends (she will deny this no doubt, the way she tries to brush off hugs and kisses, but I will persist).

She is fiercely loyal to those she considers friends.  She will fight lions for you.  She will burn you music of an amazing variety -- random, yet awesome, music.  That includes an all Filipino ballad CD meant for singing along, in the car, in the rain. She is generous and thoughtful and will gift you with things she knows you will enjoy – whether it is an interview with your favorite local band, a pot of truffle salt, or luscious dried figs from Turkey.

There is no real recipe for this, but I will try to outline the method and ingredients as best I can, because this was truly extraordinary, as far as sandwiches go.  Just as T is, as far as friends go.

Grilled Figs and Cheese  
(for one)
  • Two slices sourdough bread (or your favorite bread…I imagine a darker multigrain would work well too)
  • About 3 dried figs, sliced
  • A spoonful of chopped walnuts
  • A couple spoonfuls of ricotta
  • 2-3 slices brie
  • 2-3 thick slices fresh mozzarella
  • Generous drizzlings of honey
  • A sprinkle of truffle salt

- Heat a panini press or grill pan.
- On one slice of bread smear the ricotta thickly.  Top with fig slices and walnuts.  Top that with the brie, then the mozzarella.  Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with truffle salt.  Top with the other slice of bread.
- Place sandwich on the press or grill and press down.  Grill, pressing down, until grill marks appear, bread is toasted, and the cheeses have melted and melded into a beautiful mess.

I have stuck to relatively mild cheeses here because I wanted something very creamy, and I wanted to use the truffle salt (which would be impossible with sharper, saltier cheeses).  You can certainly use other cheeses, and I am looking forward to experimenting in that direction as well.  Just remember to nix the truffle salt if you are using stronger cheeses.  Another, delicious, way to go at it would be to use truffle honey instead of the honey + truffle salt.  Oh yes.

And wait…I haven’t forgotten about the packet of locally cultivated, raised with much love and care, dried oyster mushrooms that I promised you!  After, quite literally, putting all your names in a hat and picking one (yes, I do not know how to work a random number generator), the winner is…Sweet Tooth (I’ll be emailing you shortly)!!  Thank you to everyone who joined!  I had fun and I hope you did too.  I think I’ll be doing more of this in the future :)

(ssshhhh...just nod twice if there are too many Game of Thrones references in this post)