baked figs with blue cheese
Wed, 10 September, 2014
Figs and blue cheese - what a good combination! Baked figs stuffed with Gorgonzola or Stilton are a great starter, side dish or a lunchtime treat. Drizzle with honey, swap blue for goats cheese if you like and they make a nice healthy dessert too.
How do you like your figs?
I don’t know what your favourite thing to do with figs is, but I just enjoy looking at them. If you cut one open you see how beautifully it is made, though admittedly it looks slightly obscene according to some artists and writers.
In ancient Rome figs were considered sacred as the mythical city founders, Romulus and Remus, rested under the fig tree while being suckled by a she-wolf who raised them from babies. Those Romans, eh?
Fig tree and fig leaf
Of course it's not just the fruit: leaves of a fig tree prominently feature in the Bible as first ever outfit. ‘They knew that they were naked’ and we know how THAT story ends. Blame the figs?
And let’s not forget that fig was considered quite an aphrodisiac, again probably based on its appearance. As I said, a bit obscene.
How to prepare figs?
Fresh ripe figs are a thing of beauty and I do love eating them just quartered, with a drizzle of honey and a squeeze of lemon. You can also add them to a green salad to make it more interesting. Unexpectedly, fig pairs beautifully with tomato creating the most vibrant dish of a summer.
But wait till you bake them
Figs baked with blue cheese, a bit of honey (optional if very ripe fruit) and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar (an absolute must) are a delight. Any blue cheese will do; I'm not too sure about goat’s cheese because I’m not a huge fan of it, but if you like it do go ahead and try. Blue cheese is usually sharper which is why I choose it to break through the sweetness of the fig, honey and all.
baked figs with blue cheeseServings: 2Time: 30 minutes
- 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
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6.
2. 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.
3. Bake for about 10 minutes, remove from the oven and crumble a good chunk of cheese in each fruit, pressing into the cut.
4. 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.
5. 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.