baked figs with blue cheese
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I don’t know what your favourite thing to do with figs is, but I just enjoy looking at them. Cut one open and see how beautifully it is made, admittedly slightly obscene, or supposed to be. In ancient Rome figs were considered sacred as allegedly the city founders, Romulus and the other bloke, rested under the fig tree while being suckled by a she-wolf. Those Romans, eh?
Of course they are also mentioned in the Bible as first ever outfit – the leaves of a fig tree that is. ‘They knew that they were naked’ and all that. And let’s not forget that fig was considered quite an aphrodisiac – probably purely based on its appearance. As I said, a bit obscene.
Fresh figs are a thing of beauty and I do love eating them just quartered, with a drizzle of honey and a bit of cheese, give it a try. Or chuck them into a green salad, just to make it more interesting.
Or bake them.
Any blue cheese will do. Not too sure about goat’s cheese because I’m not a huge fan of it, but do go ahead and try. Blue will be sharper though which is what you need to break through the sweetness of the fig, balsamic and all.
- two to three figs per person (Bursa figs are especially adorable, and large)
- a little olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- blue cheese – I used Stilton. At room temperature. It is a crime against humanity to keep cheese in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6.
Trim the figs and cut a cross in each to about halfway down the fruit. Put them on a baking tray and drizzle with the oil, balsamic and honey. Bake for about 10 minutes and then crumble a good chunk of cheese in each fruit, pressing into the cut.
Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and the figs have released some juice onto the tray.
You know what, after all that sometimes I think – sod the the figs, I’ll just have that juice!!