Grilling: Planked Figs with Pancetta and Goat Cheese


Fire up your grill and get ready for some serious smoke.


[ Photographs: Joshua Bousel ]

I like planking best for small bites and appetizers, not because the process necessarily works better for one-bite treats but because the plank is an instantly cool serving tray (assuming you don't scorch it to death) that adds the aura of outdoor grilling. This is what made these stuffed Peppadews seem more impressive than they actually were. Wanting to do more things along that line, I tried out this recipe for planked figs with pancetta and goat cheese.

Sweet figs and salty meat is an automatic win, so there's not much more to say about that, but some little additions in this recipe make these go beyond the usual bacon-wrapped figs. First, the figs are dipped in Grand Marnier before being grilled. Then they get a topping of goat cheese and a drizzle of honey.

A little smoky, fruity, sweet, salty, and creamy. Bonus was the double duty the plank served for cooking and serving, letting everyone know these babies were freshly grilled.