I don't know about you, but when I get home from work I am tired!! However, as you do, I have people counting on me to make dinner. I came across a recipe the other day that combined pork, figs and goat cheese and it reminded me of a recipe I've used from a cookbook that is out of this world - it's figs and pork and rosemary (no cheese) but it's slow roasted in the oven. In this heat there isn't a chance in the world that I would turn on my oven at 6PM!
The kids thought the pork was amazing but they didn't eat the figs or goat cheese - which was fine with me. My husband couldn't seem to get enough of the entire dish and felt this was one of the best things we've made together. I say "we've made" because he did the actual grilling while I prepared the dish - so if he hadn't cooked it just right, it wouldn't have made it to the blog.
Grilling figs can be a bit hazardous so beware - if you leave them on the fire a touch too long they'll burn up and be worthless. So just stand guard and don't get distracted - they only need about 3 minutes, at most. Grilling them brought the natural sugars to the surface and the sweetness mixed with the saltiness of the meat made for a delicious combination.
Grilled Pork Loin with Figs and Goat Cheese
4 lbs. pork loin
scant 1/4 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup olive oil
freshly ground pepper
1 10" sprig, fresh rosemary, needles washed, and coarsely chopped
1 lb. fresh mission figs, quartered
2-3 wooden skewers, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
1/2 cup fresh goat cheese, crumbled
About 1/2 hour before grilling, mix together in a small bowl the salt, pepper and olive oil. Mix with a basting brush and liberally slather all sides of a dried-off pork loin - leaving behind about 1-2 tablespoons of mixture. Place the pork into a plastic sealable bag and allow it to marinate for about 1/2 hour.
Thread the fig pieces onto the wooden skewers and set aside. Add the fresh rosemary to the remaining olive oil mixture and gently baste the figs with the remaining mixture.
Cook the pork over indirect heat in a covered grilled - turning the meat onto each side every 4-5 minutes, depending on thickness. Total cooking time should be about 20 minutes. Place the skewers onto the grill and cook over direct heat for about 3 minutes - turning once in between. Allow the pork to rest, uncovered, for about 6 minutes before slicing. Sprinkle the goat cheese crumbles over the figs and serve.