Planked Figs with Pancetta and Goat Cheese

[ Photographs: Joshua Bousel ]

About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.

Adapted from 25 Essentials: Techniques for Planking by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig

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Planked Figs with Pancetta and Goat Cheese

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4 as an appetizer
Active time:20 minutes
Total time:35 minutes
Special equipment:Grill, Wood Planks
This recipe appears in: Grilling: Planked Figs with Pancetta and Goat Cheese


  • 10 fresh figs, halved
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces pancetta, sliced thin and cut into 1/2-inch strips lengthwise
  • 3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cedar planks, soaked for 1 hour prior to use
  • Type of fire: two-zone indirect
  • Grill heat: medium


  1. 1

    Place figs, cut side up, on a plate. Drizzle with Grand Marnier and season heavily with pepper and lightly with salt. Let sit for 15 minutes. Wrap each fig with one strip of pancetta; secure with toothpick.

  2. 2

    Dice remaining pancetta. Place pancetta in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pancetta until crisp, 7-10 minutes. Transfer pancetta to paper towel lined plate. Set aside.

  3. 3

    Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Place planks over hot side of the grill until they start to char and smoke. Flip planks over and move to cool side of grill and arrange figs on top. Sprinkle figs with goats cheese and crisped pancetta. Cover grill and cook until figs soften and uncooked pancetta browns, about 15 minutes.

  4. 4

    Remove planks from grill. Drizzle figs with honey. Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve.


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