The flavor combination of deeply sweet figs and sharply pungent blue cheese is one of those surprisingly perfect match-ups, where opposites attract like two puzzle pieces. I like to use a softer, creamier blue cheese like gorgonzola dolce for the textural similarity, but any blue cheese works. Stronger, crumbly ones have a fun effect, too. It's a great way to use up any small bits of blue cheese you may have leftover from a party or another recipe.
The figs are best to use when they are very ripe, a little soft rather than firm. If you have figs that aren't quite ready, use the heating method as that will soften them and add a bit of caramelization.
When you are planning for how many figs to stuff, count about four per person. You can quickly stuff figs as a cold appetizer and serve them that way. Or, you can heat them for a warm appetizer.
- 12 figs
- 1/4 pound blue cheese (Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Stilton, or any variety)
- Optional: canola oil
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- Cut a vertical slit into the side of each fig.
- Stuff in about 1/2 teaspoon of blue cheese. Larger figs, obviously, can take in more cheese; smaller figs will hold less.
- If you feel like making a little bit of extra effort, heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat, spray or brush the figs with a neutral-tasting oil like canola, and cook them in the pan, turning them as needed, until lightly browned on all sides. The cheese gets nice and just a bit melted this way, too. As an alternative, you could place them on a broiling pan and broil them briefly to melt the cheese and soften them.
- Figs can be stuffed several hours ahead of time if you like and refrigerated.
- These figs will taste best at room temperature (not chilled), so remove from the refrigerator a half hour before serving if you have prepared them ahead of time.
For variations, you can add a drizzle of honey or balsamic vinegar (or both) as well. That will transform it from a finger food to one that needs a fork, and be sure to serve it with napkins as there is bound to be some sticky fingers.
While the blue cheese should add lots of flavors, you can add a few flakes of finishing salt and a dash of freshly ground black pepper for even more pop.
These blue cheese-stuffed figs pair well with Champagne or any crisp, dry white wine.