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Jarlsberg Figgy Baguette

December 12, 2011

Bread, cheese and fig are a deliciously classic combination. This all-in-one baked stuffed bread makes for easy work in the kitchen for more time with your guests. Jarlsberg is an excellent melting cheese and its mellow-nutty flavor partners delightfully with the delicate sweetness of golden Calimyrna or dark purple Mission figs, two varieties readily available and offered by Sun-Maid or Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice.

Jarlsberg Figgy Baguette

Jarlsberg Figgy Baguette

Jarlsberg Figgy Baguette

1 (16-ounce) baguette
1⁄4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup finely chopped, stemmed Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Calimyrna or Mission Figs
1⁄3 cup chopped, pitted kalamata olives
1 tablespoon dried Italian herb seasoning or oregano
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
11⁄2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Jarlsberg cheese
Salt and ground black pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 375° F. Slicing lengthwise, cut off top 1⁄3 of baguette. Hollow out inside of bottom of loaf, leaving a 1⁄3-inch shell.* (Save removed bread for bread crumbs or another use.) Reserve.

Combine olive oil and garlic in medium skillet over medium-low heat for a few seconds, until garlic sizzles. Remove from heat. Brush half of oil (2 tablespoons) on inside of loaf and cut side of top. Place top and bottom of loaf, cut sides up, on baking sheet; bake 5 minutes.

Return skillet with remaining oil to medium heat and add bell pepper and onion. Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in figs, olives, herbs and vinegar. Cool. Stir Jarlsberg into fig mixture and add salt and pepper to taste.

Pack mixture into bottom of baguette. Place top on stuffed baguette. Wrap in foil. Return to oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove foil and cut into 1-inch slices. Serve warm.

Makes about 20 servings.

*For easier handling of long baguette, slice off top as directed, then cut loaf crosswise in half. Hollow out each half, leaving ends intact to hold filling.


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