Whether the familiar strawberry or the exotic gooseberry, a bit of chocolate makes any fruit look glamorous. Photo by Ian Garlic.
Recipe: Roast Figs With Honey
A Light And Elegant Dessert ~ From Brunch To Dinner
For this sophisticated but simple dessert, first decide how many figs you want to serve to each person.
- One or more. Figs are small; a single fig can be served as one of several dessert course, transitioning into a sweeter course. Or, it can be a “touch” of dessert for those who allow themselves just a bit of sweetness at the end of the meal.
- With or without cheese. You can serve two or three figs per person by themselves or with cheese. Figs, honey and nuts—the components of this recipe—are all excellent complements to cheese plates. So, you can pass a cheese plate while serving this course, and diners can add their cheese to the fig plate, combining bites of fig and honey with their cheese. If you aren’t serving a cheese course, you can add an optional scoop of soft cheese to the center of the fig.
- One variety of fig or three. Another way to enhance the recipe is to serve three different types of fig to each person—a black Mission fig, a green Adriatic fig, and a brown turkey fig, for example. You can garnish one with hazelnuts, one with pistachios and one with almonds. If you have rectangular or even square plates, it makes a lovely presentation.
Another reason we like this dessert is that it can be served at breakfast, lunch or dinner, or at midday tea.
- Fresh figs with stems
- 2 tablespoons fresh, flavorless cooking oil
- Fresh roasted hazelnuts (and/or pistachios and walnuts—see bullet point above), roughly chopped (allow 1 teaspoon per fig)
- Chèvre, Gorgonzola or mascarpone (optional, 1 tablespoon per fig)
- Varietal honey*
*Since honey is an important flavor component in this dish, avoid supermarket honey, which tends to be blended to a simplistically sweet, common denominator, and look for a varietal honey that will give the dish a special flavor. Read more about varietal honey.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Clean and pat dry figs, retaining stems.
- Toss figs with oil place upright in a baking dish or on a baking sheet with a lip. Roast for 12 minutes.
- Allow to cool and quarter as shown in photo. You can cook the figs a day in advance, but bring to room temperature before serving.
- Using a melon baller, fill the center of each fig with a scoop of cheese; or, serve cheese separately.
- Plate by creating a small pool of honey; place the fix on top of it. Drizzle a very small amount of honey on top of the fig. Scatter nuts around the fig.
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