Home-grown Figs and the Best Blue Cheese

The garden output is slowly declining – the last round of cucumbers, the few determined tomatoes, herbs to be dried. But the eggplants are holding out, and finally – finally – the figs are beginning to ripen. Ben and I harvested two, decided they were Black Turkey figs, and pulled out our favorite blue cheese: Valdéon.

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The figs were mild, sweet, tender plumps, alternating with the battery-acid-on-your-tongue blue cheese. Don’t say you don’t like blue cheese – the nastiest, strongest, make-your-cheeks-sweat cheese is what I want. And Valdéon is it. Whole Foods carries it. Go get some.

Figs are also available at the market these days, so go indulge in a container. Eat with cheese, honey, balsamic vinegar, salt, or by themselves. Or try this recipe adapted from Todd English of Olives. Black Mission figs work best, but Black Turkey are also good. And they grow on our roof.

Blue-cheese stuffed figs

Serves 4 as an hors d’ouevre, or 1 as a crime.

8 fresh figs

1/2 cup blue cheese (use a firm goat cheese if you’re too chicken for blue)

4 slices of prosciutto

2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped

coarse salt

balsamic vinegar

Preheat the broiler on high. Cut the figs at the stem end into quarters, though leaving them attached at the base, creating a pocket to stuff in cheese. Crumble the blue cheese and stuff each fig with a couple teaspoons worth. Wrap each fig with a half a slice of prosciutto. Place the figs on a foil lined tray. Sprinkle with rosemary and salt. Place under broiler until cheese is slightly melted, prosciutto has a bit of crisp and some of the oil is beading on the outside, about 3-6 minutes depending on your broiler. Remove from the oven, and drizzle with a high quality balsamic vinegar. (If it is truly high quality, you’re good to go. If not, reduce the vinegar to a syrup on the stove and use a few drops per fig). Eat immediately. Dream about eating these all day. Take a nap.

**By the way, the stages are going unbelievably well. I shall update soon on Hamersley’s, No 9 Park, and Sel de la Terre.

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