Summer Entertaining 2000: Mother Cooks Best

  Prosciutto-and-Fig Bruschetta Drizzled With Honey and Crushed Black Pepper

The Chef
LIDIA BASTIANICH of Felidia and Becco

Serves eight.

8 1/2-inch thick slices of firm country-style bread
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
15 to 16 ripe fresh black or green figs
8 thin slices of prosciutto di San Daniele (each about 6 inches long)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 and 1/2 tablespoons of sage honey or wild-herb honey

Cooking Instructions

Prepare a charcoal fire or heat a grill pan over medium heat for 5 minutes. Grill as many of the bread slices as will fit in a single layer, turning them only once, until they are golden brown and crispy, even slightly charred around the edges, about 3 to 5 minutes total. Remove the bruschette from the grill and brush lightly with olive oil.

Alternatively, the bruschette can be prepared in the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Arrange the bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake, turning once, until golden brown and crispy around the edges, 6 to 8 minutes. Brush with olive oil.

Wipe the figs clean with a damp cloth or paper towel and slice them crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick rounds.

Cover the bruschette with overlapping fig slices. Drape the prosciutto to cover the figs. Grind some black pepper over the prosciutto, drizzle with honey, and serve immediately.