I have a hard time sometimes mixing savory and sweet. It's pretty much the only thing I am kind of picky about. Salted caramel: great. Mango salsa: I think those things are better separate. But a couple of weeks ago, I had a delicious dinner at Figs in Beacon Hill where My friends and I had the fig prosciutto pizza. It was such a good combo of savory, meaty and light, I knew I had to incorporate fig jam into my life, ASAP.
Fast forward to the grocery store where I must've picked up and put back at least 4 varieties of fig jam. I decided on Bonne Maman fig jam and set out to make one of the most delicious sandwiches I've ever made. Since I live alone, and even one small loaf of bread lasts me quite a while, I decided to use the other half of the sandwich to showcase my beautiful new heirloom tomato from Red Fire Farm. You know, the one that I've been practically singing to, I love it so much. It goes beautifully with Burrata, basil, and olive oil. It's a little hard to tell in the picture, but the flesh is this beautiful golden yellow with flecks of pink and red. Look at me, gushing about this tomato like a proud mama. As if I could grow something this nice.
Fig, Brie, and Arugala Sandwich, topped with Prosciutto:
- Fig Preserves (I used Bonne Maman)
- Inexpensive Brie that is not too gooey
- Good prosciutto (I get the prosciutto San Danielle from Formaggio)
- Good crusty bread (I used a wheat ciabatta loaf)
Grill the bread, just briefly enough to warm it up and create some crispiness, either on an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan. Then, working quickly, spread a thin layer of the fig preserves on the surface of the bread. Fig tends to be pretty sweet, so I avoid glopping it on the bread. I add just enough for it to sink to the nooks and crannies, but not enough so that it clumps. On the jam, put on a layer of arugala leaves, not too thick, or else it won't stick. Arugala adds a really beautiful fresh, peppery taste to the sandwich, and it looks nice too! Cut slices of the brie, which should stay in the refrigerator until it's ready to be used. This ensures that it stays firm enough to cut. Lay out the slices of the brie on top of the arugala. Finally, top the planks of brie with rich, buttery prosciutto. Be liberal with this! You won't regret it.
If you choose to forgo the prosciutto for a vegetarian option, good for you! Instead, sprinkle the top of the brie with some coarse salt and go to town.
Tip: If you're like me, you have a hard time biting into sandwiches featuring prosciutto without accidentally sliding the whole damn slice out and getting a mouthful of meat. Cut the pieces in half before you lay them into sandwiches so that it's more manageable to eat.
Heirloom Tomato, Burrata, and Basil Bruschetta:
- Beautiful tomatoes that you become obsessed and emotionally attached to. The one I used was sweet, fleshy, with an extra thin skin. These are things you should think about when picking out tomatoes.
- Burrata (Mozzerella filled with cream) or substitute with fresh mozzarella
- fresh basil
- good olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- balsamic vinegar (optional)
- good bread (I once again used the whole wheat ciabatta)
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Halve the clove of garlic so that the center is exposed and rub the surface of the the bread with this. Throw this on a hot grill until it's lightly toasted. In the meantime, [try to] slice the burrata. I say try to because it's in fact filled with this gooey half cream, half mozzerella stuff, so once you cut it open it will kind of explode. I spread a generous heaping of this mixture onto the garlic grilled bread. Salt and pepper this. Thinly slice your tomato (I cut them to about 3/4 of a cm thick) and lay the slices out on top of the burrata. Cover this with julienned basil and a drizzle of olive oil. Top with one last sprinkling of salt.
As a suggestion, let this sit for a little while so that the basil, oil, salt, and tomato flavors can meld together. It will only make a small difference, if any, but I am a firm believer in letting things sit to "marinade" in the flavors of its neighbor ingredients. Maybe it actually works, or maybe it really just makes the meal taste better because of the wait. Either way, this sandwich was incredible.