makes four first-course servings
8 bacon slices
8 firm-ripe fresh figs, trimmed and halved lengthwise
1/4 lb aged goat cheese such as Bucheron or Pouligny-St.-Pierre
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 oz mesclun (4 cups)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Cook bacon in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until most of fat is rendered but bacon is still pliable, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Remove 1 scoop of flesh from each fig half with small end of a melon-ball cutter and discard. Scoop cheese with same end of melon-ball cutter and just fill each fig half. Press fig halves together to form whole figs.
Stir together brown sugar, cumin, and salt, then rub onto 1 side of each bacon slice. Wrap 1 bacon slice, sugared side out, around each fig and secure with a toothpick.
Broil figs, bacon sides up, on rack of a broiler pan about 3 inches from heat, turning them frequently, until bacon is browned, about 2 minutes. Cool slightly, then discard toothpicks.
Toss mesclun with lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste, then gently toss with oil. Serve figs with salad.
bacon recipe courtesy of: Gourmet, August 2001