Starting to think about upcoming fall get togethers? Whether it’s weekend football or holiday get togethers, you’re going to need snacks. If you’re looking for something a little more special than the usual cheese and fruit tray, look no further than these pancetta crisps with goat cheese and figs. Yes, you read that right – pancetta crisps. As in, let’s take golden brown, delightfully crispy slices of Italian bacon and make them the star of the appetizer. They may not be healthy but they are so worth the indulgence. Goat cheese and figs are already a great combination but the crispy pancetta adds another dimension. The saltiness of the pancetta gets balanced with the creaminess of the goat cheese and the sweetness of the fig jam and fresh figs. The arugula adds a little sharpness. They all make for one delicious and beautiful appetizer for fall.
Despite their elegant flair, these appetizers are easy to make (which are always the best kind of appetizers). There’s very little prep work. The hardest part might be going to the grocery store. Go with the pre-sliced pancetta, pre-washed arugula, jarred fig jam and all the work is practically done for you. If you don’t want to buy an entire package of arugula for want of 12 leaves, check the salad bar at your grocery store to see if they have arugula and get just a small portion. Or skip the arugula entirely. That would be my kids’ first choice since they think arugula is evil incarnate.
Then pour some wine and bring on the weekend!
- 12 thin pancetta slices
- 12 generous teaspoons soft fresh goat cheese
- Fig jam, to taste, store-bought or homemade
- 12 small baby arugula leaves
- 6 small fresh figs, sliced
- Fresh thyme leaves
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pancetta in a single layer on 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Bake pancetta until crisp and nicely browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain pancetta crisps on paper towels and let cool for 15 minutes.
- Transfer pancetta crisps to a serving dish. Top each crisp with 1 teaspoon goat cheese, some fig jam to taste, 1 arugula leaf, and fig slices. Sprinkle with thyme and serve.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit, Nov 2010.