Roasted Blue-Cheese and Walnut Stuffed Figs
I'm so excited we finally were able to get some fresh figs from our garden. The girls started stuffing themselves with a lot of the figs but I managed to save a few to make this little starter for dinner.
The concept is so easy, a kid could make it! Just caramelize the figs in the oven, stuff them with any kind of soft cheese and sprinkle some nuts. Ta-da!
Yields: 618 figs
3 tablespoons olive oil, extra for greasing the pan
1 teaspoon fleur de sel (or regular salt)
1/2 teaspoon white peppercorns, freshly ground
6 tablespoons agave nectar (see tips)
1/3 cup Roquefort blue cheese
1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Wash the figs. Pat them dry. Make a cross incision starting from the stem of the figs, cutting three-quarters of the way to the root. Place the figs onto a pan sprayed with olive oil. Spray about a teaspoon of olive oil onto each fig. Season with salt and pepper. Bake them for about 8 minutes.
Drizzle each fig with about a teaspoon of agave nectar. Bake for another 3 minutes, until the figs are nicely golden and caramelized. Remove from the oven. Let them stand for about 5-10 minutes. Insert about 1-1/2 teaspoon of blue cheese. The figs should still be warm so that the cheese softens but doesn't melt completely.
Garnish with some chopped walnuts.
You can serve the figs as appetizers. Just decorate your platter by placing fresh fig leaves and some mint. If it's s sit-down dinner, you can serve them as a salad with mixed baby greens drizzled with a flavorful vinaigrette like a balsamic reduction salad dressing.
If you find the flavor of blue cheese to be too strong, you can use goat cheese or any other soft cheese.
I used green figs because that's what was ripe today but you can use any other variety of figs like black mission.
Agave nectar, sometimes called agave syrup, is a natural sweetener. In France, it's called Agave honey. Unlike honey, agave nectar has a long shelf life and does not crystallize over time. Agave nectar is made from the purified sap of cactus-like desert plants. It is very popular in Mexico.
It is not heated during production and is considered raw, which make it very healthy like raw honey. Unlike raw honey though, agave nectar is easy to spread and drizzle because of its consistency.
Using a good quality salt will bring so much more flavor to your dish. There are so many kinds that you should try: Red Hawaiian salt, Himalayan sea salt, Fleur de sel from Madagascar, Fine Salt from Bayonne, Sel de Guerande, and of course the Fleur de Sel from the Island of Noirmoutier. For this recipe, I used the Fleur de Sel de l'Ile de Re, which I got on my trip to Paris last June. It's hand-picked, not treated and not washed. All the minerals are still there. It's very flavorful and surprisingly not as salty as the regular table salt. I like testing and making my own seasoning salt. I'll post recipes for some of these concoctions later.Published By: on July 3, 2009.