Have you ever tasted something new and wondered how you could have missed out. That is how I felt about figs. I tasted one a few years ago but didn’t like it. On my recent trip to Napa I tasted Joanne’s brandied figs and fell in love. I have been missing out on a wonderfully tasty fruit that is wonderful, fresh or in a jam or on a pizza. My first canning attempt will trying to recreate her figs.
This month I started offering in home cooking classes again and had friends over to try out one of my classes. For starters we made Figs with Goat Cheese and Port Syrup. They are an elegant and easy starter for your next dinner party. My one caution watch the port as it nears completion, it can go fast and you don’t want to end up at the hard candy stage that I might have found myself at.
Figs are native to the Mediterranean region but have been grown in California since 1882 when they were brought over from Turkey. Once held as sacred this fruit is high in calcium and fiber. If you haven’t tried one don’t wait as long as I did, go out and try one this weekend.
Figs with Goat Cheese and Port Syrup
Instyle Recipe September 2002
1 cup ruby port
6 tablespoons honey
6 ounces fresh goat cheese
8 ripe figs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
In small saucepan combine port and honey. Bring to a boil and reduce to 1/3 cup. Chill. Portion goat cheese into eight pieces and form each piece into a ball. Place figs upright on a clean work surface. With a small, sharp knife, slice each fig into eight sections, being careful not to slice all the way through the bottom of the fruit.
Gently pull fig sections outward, forming a flower. Place a goat cheese ball in center of each gif. Drizzle with reduced port syrup. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and parsley.