The Jewish contribution to fast food comes to this country in the form of deli. Pastrami arrived in this country with a wave of Jewish immigration in the early 19th century and has been a favorite ever since. This elegant appetizer, in the portion size suggested, can fill the craving you have for pastrami in an up-scale fashion while including the fiber-rich sweetness of the fig. No fruit is higher in fiber than the fig! One quarter-cup of dried figs provide a whopping 8.5 grams of fiber and is also packed with potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Remove the pastrami from the packaging. Pick out 18 (5–6 inch) slices, or trim some longer slices to 5–6 inch lengths.
Prepare the glaze: Pour the port into a small pot. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until it is reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Add the dissolved cornstarch and stir. Bring to a simmer; the mixture will thicken. Remove from heat. Mix in the honey.
Trim the stems from the figs. Make a lengthwise cut three-quarters through each fig, leaving the figs intact; do not cut all the way through. If using dried figs, sometimes they come somewhat opened and may not need to be slit.
Using the small side of a melon baller, scoop out round balls of cantelope. Stuff a melon ball into each fig. Wrap a piece of pastrami around each fig, securing with toothpick. Fresh figs will need longer slices. Place 3 figs on each plate. Pool 2 teaspoons of the glaze on each plate and brush the figs with additional glaze.
Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
Reproduced from Kosher By Design Lightens Up by Susie Fishbein with permission from the copyright holders ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications, LTD.