Figs with Gorgonzola and Walnuts
Figs must be perfectly ripe when you buy them. Unlike other fruits that may ripen on your countertop in a few days figs do not continue to ripen once they are picked off the fig tree. This necessitate touching them before buying to make sure they are a little squishy, indicating the inside is nice and ripe. Figs that are firm are not ripe. Figs that are wet and oozing are overripe, but they can still taste good if they are not over the edge.
The ideal fig is soft to the touch, sweet and luscious on the palate, fragrant with honeyed aroma and easily opened up to reveal the soft, delicate seeds enclosed in its satiny green or purple skin. It is a special fruit, available late summer and early fall. Figs perish quickly so use them soon after buying, store loosely covered in the fridge and bring to room temperature before using.
I serve them on their own, drizzled with honey, alongside cheeses, stuffed with blue cheese or goat cheese and baked or broiled briefly, or sliced over salads. I use them to top pizza of figs and gorgonzola or brie as in here and here. Sometimes I bake them and serve with madeira or orange based sauce, or poach them in wine. They are pretty versatile for such a little known fruit. Fig jam is nice on top of crostini with a piece of cheese. I can go on.
This little appetizer is for whole ripe figs, stuffed with gorgonzola and topped with chopped walnuts. I drizzle with sauce made with honey and ice wine and then bake or broil them briefly. When I invite friends who are not vegetarians I step out of my culinary comfort zone and use ingredients I don’t normally use, like the prosciutto in some of the images below.
8 perfectly ripe figs
3 tablespoons honey, the liquid kind or melted
2 tablespoon ice wine
Cut the stem off the figs and discard.
Cut an X through the stem end going about half way down, keeping the flower (wide) end intact. Be careful not to cut right through, just allow the fig to open up a little.
Place a piece of cheese inside each fig.
Set the figs on a foil lined baking sheet, drizzle some of the honey sauce over, reserving the rest for later.
Bake in 400℉ oven for a few minutes, until the cheese begins to melt. Don’t over-bake or the cheese will melt completely and ooze out. I sometimes top the fig with another small piece of cheese when I take it out of the oven and let it softened from the heat of the figs.
Spoon a little more honey sauce over and serve warm or at room temperature
If the figs are large you can serve them with a small fork. If they are small they can be consumed in one or two bites.