AUTUMN IS FIG SEASON! Fresh figs don’t keep long, so eat your fill…
A few months ago, our friends Bee & Jai came up with a challenging CLICK! event: Bi-Color. SO wanted to participate. To rise to their challenge.
Looked through what the CLICK! participants had submitted. Surveyed my own collection of food photos….all were at least “tri-color.” Decided on a color focus ~ BURGUNDY. Would it be burgundy & tan or burgundy & green or burgundy & white? Started looking around for recipes…and discovered several easy, but unusual ones. Bri would have made them in a snap. And beautifully, too.
But I couldn’t bring myself to cook. Cooking even simple recipes for a blog takes me all day, sometimes into the night, and more on the next day, ….counting the food prep, cooking, photographing every step in multiple ways, doing Photoshop digital darkroom adustments, writing, re-writing, and editing the post….all the while chatting madly away with potential readers in my head. If my internal conversation were heard aloud, folks would think I was a bit off-kilter or entertaining a crowd.
Besides having proper TIME to do a blog recipe-post, I need to have the emotional impetus. And grief, being the weird, unpredictable experience that it is, sometimes stops me COLD. I just couldn’t do it.
So, the first batch of figs grew clouds of white mold in their loosely wrapped bag in the frig. The compost critters enjoyed them just fine. The gorgeous red onions I had purchased for another interesting “burgundy” recipe are still on my counter, beginning to look a bit forlorn and withered.
Last Saturday’s Santa Rosa Farmers Market was the bustling place it usually is, even during the final half hour before noon, when Bill and I often arrive. We have our favorite vendors to buy from ~ the same folks Bri used to frequent ~ for fruits & veggies, bread & honey, along with occasional other indulgences like handmade cheese or chocolate truffles.
When I stopped by The Patch, Lazaro’s abundant tables of Sonoma grown peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, summer squash….and FIGS caught my eye. They were the most ENORMOUS Black Mission figs I have ever seen! Knew immediately, it was now-or-never.
Here is an exquisitely simple, sophisticated, yet subtle recipe that makes a TERRIBLE mess (or at least, I made a terrible mess) ~ which one can ‘sort of’ clean up ~ with delicious results. Bri would have loved it.
Chevre Goat Cheese-Stuffed Roasted Black Mission Figs
Recipe adapted from Marco Pasanella’s Original
~ Quarter 12 organic Black Mission figs (or other figs of your choice), cutting three-quarters of the way down.
~ Stuff the figs with organic Chevre, a soft, fresh mild goat cheese. (I used Laura Chenel’s, a local Sonoma county brand.)
~ Sprinkle figs generously with raw organic Pistachio halves. *My improv addition*
~ Roast in an oiled pan at 425F for 12 minutes, until softened.
SERVE: Immediately (waiting only for food blog photos) drizzled with warmed honey. ENJOY!
TIPS & COMMENTS:
Do these looks like a bunch of kindergartners had been playing in the kitchen? YIKES!! When I complained to Marc about my cheesy MESS, he suggested stuffing goat cheese into a zip-lock bag with a corner snipped off in order to pipe the cheese into the figs. Hmmm. Perhaps that would work, next time? Give it a try, if you decide to make this figgy delight.
I baked the figs in a Pyrex glass pie pan wiped with organic Grapeseed oil apropos to the other Mediterranean ingredients.
The organic Tropical Blossom Hawaiian honey was poured into a glass flask and warmed gently in hot water, while the figs roasted. You can drizzle on a surprising amount of honey. The goat cheese absorbs and mellows it, so this dish ~ hors d’oeuvres or dessert ~ isn’t at all cloying.
This recipe could be varied by using different honey choices: Orange Blossom, Star-Thistle, or Tupelo OR flavored-infused honeys like Lavender, Lemon or Cinnamon. Marc thinks Maple syrup would work, too.
There are LOTS of cheese-stuffed figs recipes on the web. Some take a more savory leaning with rosemary or other fresh herbs for garnishes. And can be paired with a variety of ingredients. Take a look or give this easy-to-assemble recipe a try. And come back to let me know what you think of figs served this way.