Humboldt Fog with Grilled Figs and Orzo
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
In their book Melt, Stiavetti and McCord feature summer in a bowl with grilled peaches, their ideal match for Humboldt Fog, the vegetable ash-ribboned goat cheese from Cypress Grove Chêvre in Humboldt, California. I’ve adapted the recipe for Fall, substituting grilled figs for the peaches, which perfectly complemented the olive oil, balsamic, and tangy cheese. In the heartier spirit of autumn, I used whole wheat orzo from Rustichella d’Abruzzo. I also tossed in some beautifully ripe blackberries before serving. To make the recipe as in the book, substitute three freestone yellow peaches for the figs, wiping off the fuzz with a damp paper towel before cutting them in half lengthwise and removing the pits. The authors toss the fruit with the dressing in a zip-top bag; because they are delicate, I’ve used a bowl for the figs.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Makes: 4
What You'll Need
  • 8 large or 12 small fresh, ripe figs, any variety
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 10 ounces orzo, regular or whole wheat
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh spearmint leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup chopped pistachios
  • 6 ounces Humboldt Fog, rind removed, cheese coarsely crumbled (I included the rind)
What To Do
  1. Wipe the figs with a damp cloth if needed, then remove the stems and cut the figs in half top to bottom.
  2. Mix together the honey, balsamic, and oil, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Add the fig pieces, gently spoon the sauce over them to coat, and let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. While the figs marinate, cook the orzo according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  4. Place the fig halves on a hot, oiled (outdoor or stovetop) grill, cut side down. (Reserve the marinade.)
  5. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until they begin to developed grill marks. Roughly cut the figs into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
  6. Combine the figs, orzo, parsley, mint, pistachios, and reserved marinade in a bowl. Gently toss to evenly coat the orzo, adding salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  7. Break up the Humboldt Fog and add to the bowl.
  8. Toss once or twice, just enough to bring everything together. (Avoid over-mixing, which will melt the cheese if the orzo is still warm.)
  9. Serve immediately.
  10. The authors recommend the following:
  11. Alternative cheeses: Humboldt Fog is widely available, but good stand-ins include Goat’s Leap Eclipse, Bermuda Triangle, or any stellar chêvre
  12. Wine pairings: Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Gewürztraminer
  13. Additional pairings for the cheese, outside of this recipe: plums, cherries, balsamic reduction
Notes
The authors recommend the following:
Alternative cheeses: Humboldt Fog is widely available, but good stand-ins include Goat’s Leap Eclipse, Bermuda Triangle, or any stellar chêvre
Wine pairings: Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Gewürztraminer
Additional pairings for the cheese, outside of this recipe: plums, cherries, balsamic reduction
Recipe by Jennie Schacht {fork & swoon} at http://www.jennieschacht.com/2013/10/cookbook-review-melt-art-macaroni-cheese-cookware-giveaway/