Tag Archives: figs

Easy Appetizer…Figs with Gorgonzola and Prosciutto

FigsI’m not sure about you, but the warm weather always makes me think of entertaining.  There’s something about sitting on the porch or deck, pulling out the grill, sharing food and drinks, that is just perfect for the warm weather.  But the last thing I want to do when I have guests over is spend hours in the kitchen while they are all enjoying each others company outside.  That’s why this bite size appetizer is perfect, it’s quick and easy to throw together, and bonus, it doesn’t involve the oven or stove!

Gorgonzola DolceThis may be one of the easiest recipes I ever write about.  It’s just so simple, but the flavors work so well together.  You may remember me ranting about my love of figs a few months ago…I do love them.  Here, the fresh figs are soft, sweet, juicy, and delicious.  They pair really well with the creamy, sweet/sharp blue cheese, Gorgonzola, and the salty ham, prosciutto.

So, as for the recipe, get ready…here goes.

Fig and GorgonzolaTake 8 oz fresh figs and slice off the woody stems.  Then, just cut each one of them in half.  Next, select the cheese.  I used Gorgonzola Dolce, which is a sweeter and milder blue cheese, but really any blue will do.  Take 4 oz Gorgonzola Dolce and slice it into small pieces.  Set the cheese on top of the figs, on the sliced side.  Then, wrap the figs and cheese with the prosciutto.  You’ll need about 3 oz sliced prosciutto.

So there you have it.  As promised, simple recipe for those warmer evenings.  Also, if you can’t find the Gorgonzola Dolce and use a different blue that might not be as sweet, or you just like things sweeter, you can always drizzle some honey over the cheese before you wrap the prosciutto around.  And if you don’t like blue cheese, feel free substitute whatever flavor combination you prefer. Enjoy!Finished Figs

A Winter Salad with Figs and a Port Wine Reduction

Figs are one of my favorite fruits.  They are so juicy and delicate, with a firm skin and soft, sweet interior.  If you haven’t had a fresh fig, when they are available in your grocery store, definitely give it a try.  They are more than just the filling of the Fig Newtons…trust me.  I absolutely love them, but here in the northeast, their season is short.  Whenever possible, I love to incorporate dried figs into recipes.  They certainly aren’t quite the same as a juicy, fresh fig, but they are a close second.  And here is one of the ways I like to cook them, reconstituting them in a port wine reduction which becomes a sweet, tangy salad dressing.

Cut FigsFor this recipe, you want to make the dressing early, so it has time to cool off.  Take 7 oz of dried mission figs and quarter them.  You may also need to cut off a small, hard stem that is often times attached.  If you feel a hard piece at the small end of the figs, just cut that off before quartering.  Add the quartered figs to a small saucepan with 2/3 cup of port wine, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1/3 cup of olive oil.  Mix everything together, and cook over a high heat until it comes to a simmer.  Simmer for about 10 minutes until the figs become plump and the sauce begins to thicken.  Remove from heat, and, when cooled a bit, stir in 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard.

The DressingThat’s really it for the dressing…and the salad for that matter.  I like to toast half a cup of walnuts or pecans and toss it all with arugula.  The peppery arugula works well with the sweet dressing.  And if you like your dressing more tangy, add a bit more balsamic.  Just adjust to make it your own.  You could also add some cheese to this salad, maybe a salty ricotta salata or some crumbled Gorgonzola.  You could even add some roasted chicken and make a meal out of it.  Great, now I’m making myself hungry!

Now if only we could fast forward to the spring or summer and get fresh arugula from the garden, that would make the salad even better!  But with a foot of snow on the ground, that seems pretty far off!