I've been thinking about a fig 'n' Parmesan combination for some time now, though I just haven't managed to act upon it before this.
But it's stuck with me. And it's stuck with me because it is bashert [bah-SHAYRT], which is Hebrew for "destiny."
I'd originally considered a savory bread pudding with shavings of Parmesan and some fig jam stirred into the custard; that may still find its way into my repertoire this winter, when the warmth of bread pudding is the perfect thing to counter the cold. But after a long day at work, I needed dinner ... and I needed a meal that didn't require too much effort. If it were going to be time-consuming or complicated, I'd have ended up just eating chocolate chips. (You think I'm kidding, but I'm really not. It had been that kind of day.)
So, fortunately for my pancreas, there was a better idea: a grilled cheese sandwich combining the Parmesan and the figs. And as I gathered ingredients together, I had an epiphany ... bacon.
There was a bit of leftover bacon flirting with me as I routed around in the refrigerator. I could hear it blowing kisses, whispering sweet nothings.
Well, how could I resist such seductive charms? I succumbed. I'm "that" kinda girl.
And I have no regrets.
This sandwich exceeded my expectations beyond my usually verbose ability to describe it. The crisp crunch of the buttery, toasted bread ... the first bite bringing sweetness, then the tingle of the mustard ... the nuttiness of the creamy Parmesan came through in the next moment, contrasting with the chewiness of the bacon. It was a perfect union of tastes and textures.
It was love at first bite.
Grilled Bacon, Parmesan and Fig Sandwich
- 4 slices good quality multigrain bread
- butter, at room temperature
- very light schmear of Dijon mustard
- 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan
- 4 strips bacon, cooked, cut in half
- 2 fresh Black Mission figs, ends trimmed, chopped, mashed lightly
Lay the bread slices out on the countertop, and schmear some butter onto one side of each slice. Place 2 slices butter-side down in a medium skillet; lightly schmear them with Dijon mustard.
Divide half of the cheese among the bread slices. Top with the mashed figs, the bacon, and the remaining cheese. Place the remaining 2 slices of bread on top, butter-side up.
Cook over medium heat until cheese is melting and the sandwich is golden on both sides.
Makes 2 sandwiches. I won't blame you if you eat them both yourself, in one sitting.