I am a fool for figs. I wait all summer until the stores have them and then I gorge. This year I just couldn’t bring myself to stretch my budget to pay for a pound of the luscious fruit. I was going to do without. But yesterday my best writing buddy bought me a quart. I was so happy I almost cried. In my novel Act of Grace, figs, with little nuggets of goat cheese perched in their moist beaks, appears in one of the pivotal scenes. It is one of my favorite parts of the book:
Dinner arrived at the table like floats in a culinary Mardi Gras parade. First to arrive was a salad of field greens whose creased and feathery leaves had been laid out as a nest for slivers of sugar encrusted almonds and small green figs whose soft beaky mouths had been propped open to hold smooth pebbles of a soft cheese. The salad was a bright introduction to a steaming mound of Jambalaya that was a treasure trove of pearly rice strewn with gems of moist chicken, thick smoky lips of ham and shrimp the size of a big baby’s fists.
From Act of Grace~
In honor of my friend I give you a recipe for Fresh Figs With Goat Cheese and Peppered Honey from Bon Appetit Magazine
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 fresh figs
1/4 cup soft fresh goat cheese
Combine honey and pepper in small pitcher; stir to blend. Starting at stem end, cut each fig into quarters, stopping 1/2 inch from bottom to leave base intact. Gently press figs open. Spoon 1 teaspoon cheese into center of each. Arrange figs on platter; drizzle with peppered honey.
Of course this is just as good with out the honey, but the honey accents the flavors of the figs and the cheese. I also have served this with a really nice wine.