My colleague, Heather O’Bryan, reached out a few weeks ago to ask if I had any favorite fig recipes. There were fig trees in a Roanoke Community Garden Association space that were giving her more fruit than she knew what to do with. I had to tell her that, no, I had no great fig insights. I had eaten and enjoyed fresh figs before but never cooked with them. She invited me to pick some of her figs, which of course I did. I also snagged some California figs in my local Fresh Market. Now that I had figs on the brain, I wanted to know more!
So here’s my takeaway: You want your figs to be really, really ripe. My store-bought fruit was actually molding on the outside by the time they were their most succulent on the inside. If you’ve never tried them, think grapes. You eat the skin and all, and they have something of a sweet-but-musky flavor. I also recipe researched and tested and, in the end, pulled together this gem. Now, if someone asks me: do I have a fig recipe, I’ll have this to share with them. I think they’ll be pleased.
Makes 4 side servings
- 8 large or 12 small figs (remove stem and quarter)
- 1 Tbsp. honey (local if you can get it)
- 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled (can substitute crumbled feta or chunks of goat cheese)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk honey, oil and pepper in small bowl until well-mixed.
- Add figs to honey mixture and gently toss.
- Place figs on a cookie sheet or other metal roasting pan. Roast for 10 minutes until figs are soft and browned, but take care not to burn the honey.
- Sprinkle cheese atop figs as soon as they come from the oven. Eat while still warm.