You’re invited to a summer BBQ or garden party and you have NO IDEA what to make? Well, if you can get your hands on fresh figs (which you can often find at Trader Joe’s this time of year) and some goat cheese… this recipe is super simple, tastes great, is light, refreshing and presents well.
I love fresh figs… and to be honest, had never really ‘dabbled’ in them until I met my husband — who grew up in Florida and had fresh figs all the time. So now, when they pop-up on the shelves this time of year I always grab them even if I don’t ‘need’ them for anything. We just eat them fresh from the container or add them to other things we are eating (they are great grilled or on top of pizza too!).
If the only figs you’ve had were found inside a fig newton, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised! Most figs we find here in the North East are either green or purple in color and show up for a short period of time in early summer (now) and then again for a bit longer in late summer. When you cut a fresh fig in half, you find the absolutely gorgeous red flesh and seeds. The entire fruit is edible.. but I recommend always removing the stem, as it’s tough and woody. Figs are very soft and spoil quickly… so don’t leave them sitting for too long!
This recipe is a super simple one… and forgive the following photos because the lighting was awful that day.
Goat Cheese Stuffed Fresh Figs with Honey and Pepper
About 20 fresh figs
1 small plain goat cheese log (you could use crumbed, but it’s easier with a log)
Local honey of your choice
Fresh-ground black pepper
- Remove the stem from each fig.
- Slice an “X” through the top of each fig with a sharp knife, making sure not to cut all the way through.
- Use your thumb and forefinger of each hand to “squeeze open” the fig (from the bottom), to create a pocket for the goat cheese.
- Using a small spoon, stuff the desired amount of goat cheese into each fig.
- Drizzle the figs with a nice dollop of honey on each.
- Season with fresh-ground pepper.
- Inhale figs.
My husband thought these had a little “too much fig” compared to goat cheese, so he suggested that you cut them in half and put the goat cheese on top. Either would work. I have also made these and then thrown them under the broiler or to bake for a few minutes as well. They are just as divine warm.
According to the World’s Healthiest Foods website:
Although dried figs are available throughout the year, there is nothing like the unique taste and texture of fresh figs. They are lusciously sweet with a texture that combines the chewiness of their flesh, the smoothness of their skin, and the crunchiness of their seeds. California figs are available from June through September; some European varieties are available through autumn.
Figs grow on the Ficus tree (Ficus carica), which is a member of the Mulberry family. They are unique in that they have an opening, called the “ostiole” or “eye,” which is not connected to the tree, but which helps the fruit’s development by increasing its communication with the environment. Figs range dramatically in color and subtly in texture depending upon the variety. The majority of figs are dried, either by exposure to sunlight or through an artificial process, creating a sweet and nutritious dried fruit that can be enjoyed throughout the year.
This website goes on to provide lots of great information on figs… such as the nutritional information, health benefits (there are many!), history of figs, how to select them and how to store them… plus more.
There’s also several other quick and easy fig recipes you can find here.