Figs. I adore figs. When you can find them at your grocer, grab them and make this recipe by my friend, Chef David Lawrence. It makes a wonderful and very pretty appetizer when entertaining. Or just enjoy them as a sweet treat anytime. The salty tanginess of the goat cheese blends beautifully with the sweetness from the figs and port syrup. Once you make these, you’ll be counting the months until figs are available again.
Photo Credit: Chef David Lawrence
Figs with Goat Cheese and Port Syrup
- 1 cup ruby port
- 6 tablespoons honey
- 6 ounces soft goat cheese (Montrachet)
- 8 ripe figs
- ½ cup toasted* walnuts, chopped
- 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, lightly chopped, for garnish
In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring the port and honey up to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer slowly until reduced by half. Set aside and cool to room temperature, the syrup will thicken considerably upon standing.
Cut the goat cheese into 8 equal pieces, about 2 teaspoons each, and roll each piece into a ball. Place the figs upright on a cutting board and carefully make four cross cuts, slicing each fig into eight sections, being careful not to go all the way through the bottom. Gently separate the figs outward to form a “flower.” Place a ball of goat cheese in the center of each fig and drizzle with the port syrup. Garnish with the walnuts and chopped parsley.
* Place walnuts in a dry sauté pan and push them around over medium heat until they deepen in color and their nutty aroma wafts up under your nose. Once they begin to toast, they go quickly so whatever you do, don’t abandon them. They go from perfectly toasted to “toast” in a matter of seconds.