If there was ever any thought that Son and Daughters could potentially be confused about who I was, this past week in Southern California complete erased and eradicated it. I drove 14 hours round trip with 3 children to spend 10 days with my parents in 100 degree weather. I expected a vacation with lazy days not doing much, relaxing in the home of my youth, eating good food and sleeping in. What I got instead was the continual cry of MOMMY over and over again for 10 days. Without the buffers of their school, my work, their activities, and my alone time in the morning, life suddenly became 18 hour days of having "Mommy" called over and over and over again. By day 3 of the million-time-mommy-call-out, I began hearing things and suddenly the ONLY thing that I could hear was "Mommy." It suddenly became Son and Daughters only vocabulary word, virtually replacing all other words in their vocabulary. Sentences like "Mommy, I'm hungry" became "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy." Other times, complaints over fights, instead of being "Mommy, she hit me" instead became "Mom, mommy ma mom." I could not get away from the term. There were more than a few moments where I actually wished that I had not tried to teach them the word. Ever. Never. Not ever.
One evening to avoid the continual-mommy-cattle call, I escaped by making an appetizer for the family. I also chose to cook it outside on the grill so as to further avoid additional cries. Cooking it outside on the grill in 100 degree weather pretty much meant that Son and Daughters stayed inside, and I got about 10 minutes of peace and quiet by the grill. When I carried the crostini in, the cries began all over again. I quickly remedied that by stuffing a crostini into all open mouths and sat quietly in the corner enjoying the peace and quiet, however momentary it was.
This is simple to make (can be made in the oven even) but has such a delicious, decadent combination of flavors that you will want to make it over and over again. It looks so beautiful in it's natural form, rustic, slightly messy, but so inviting. After eating, I ALMOST didn't mind hearing the word mommy.
Crostini with Figs, Brie and Prosciutto
6 to 8 servings
1 loaf crusty bread like pugliese, sliced ½ inch thick
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 fresh figs, sliced in half
12 slices of prosciutto
1 wedge of brie sliced into 12 good sized pieces
1 cup of arugula leaves
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F or preheat grill on high.
Arrange the sliced bread on a baking sheet. Brush with some of the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Bake OR grill until the bread is pale golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven or grill. Top with slices of brie and return to either oven or grill for a 1 minute until brie starts getting melted and runny.
Brush the cut side of fig with olive oil. Place on grill and cook until it gets caramelized, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Top brie with a slice of prosciutto. Sprinkle a few leaves of arugula on top and drizzle with olive oil. Add fig and sprinkle freshly ground pepper over it all. Enjoy.