Ina Garten’s all about stress-free entertaining which means simple food
The Barefoot Contessa’s food philosophy centers around simple but flavorful food. She uses shortcuts to make the cooking process easier and less time-consuming. Whether that’s using a jar of her favorite store-bought tomato sauce — Garten’s famous for saying “store-bought is fine” — to make lasagna or getting dessert from a local bakery, she always wants entertaining to be as stress-free as possible.
“When you’re throwing a dinner party, there’s so much else to do. It’s an enormous amount of work, so I want everything to be simple,” she told Tasting Table in 2016.
Garten’s reasons for making simple food varies but it ends with her catching up with friends instead of stressing over food in the kitchen. That’s where her recipe for Roasted Figs and Prosciutto comes in. It’s a simple, crowd-pleasing dish perfect for a party.
Ina Garten uses a ‘very simple process’ to make roasted figs and prosciutto ‘really delicious’
Garten gave some insight on her fig and prosciutto appetizer while promoting her seventh Barefoot Contessa cookbook in 2010. Featured in the pages of Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That? Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips, she told Epicurious how roasting the figs solves a common problem.
“The Roasted Figs and Prosciutto are a perfect example of what this book’s about,” she said. “Very often, when you go to the grocery store, you can buy figs, but they’re not ripe. And I found if you wrap them in prosciutto when they’re not ripe, they’re really not delicious.”
Garten continued, saying roasting them is a how-easy-is-that? cooking tip.
“But if you wrap them in prosciutto and then throw them in the oven quickly, the sugars in the figs caramelize and they turn out absolutely delicious, like ripe figs,” she explained. “So, that is two ingredients and a very simple process, but you end up with something really delicious.”
How to make Ina Garten’s Roasted Figs and Prosciutto
Technically, three ingredients are required for the Barefoot Contessa’s Roasted Figs and Prosciutto. The recipe calls for figs, prosciutto, and “good” olive oil.
Not sure what Garten means when she says that on Barefoot Contessa or in one of her cookbooks? She means high-quality (and typically expensive). Garten’s favorite “good” olive oil is Olio Santo.
Garten starts by removing the hard stems on the figs and cutting them in half lengthwise. She then wraps each one with an inch-wide strip of prosciutto. Then they’re brushed with olive oil and cooked in a 425-degree oven for 10 minutes. As Garten says, how easy is that?
Ingredients for the Barefoot Contessa’s Roasted Figs and Prosciutto:
- Good olive oil
- 20 large fresh ripe figs
- 20 thin slices Italian prosciutto (about 8 ounces)