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 the leaves of a fig tree are also mentioned in the Bible as first ever outfit. ‘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 ripe figs are a thing of beauty and I do love eating them just quartered, with a drizzle of honey and a bit of cheese. 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.
baked figs with blue cheeseTime: half an hour
- two to three figs per person (Bursa if available)
- a little olive oil, to drizzle
- 2-3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2-3 tbsp. honey
- a large chunk of crumbly blue cheese, Stilton or similar, at room temperature
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 in a baking dish and drizzle each with the oil, balsamic and honey. Bake for about 10 minutes, remove from the oven and crumble a good chunk of cheese in each fruit, pressing into the cut.
Return the dish into the oven and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes until the cheese melts and the figs open up and release juice into the dish.
Serve immediately, perhaps with some crusty bread as a starter; with a dollop of yoghurt or crème fraîche if for dessert; or as a side to a meat or game main course.