I saw fresh figs in the store last week and couldn’t resist them. Originally, I had planned to tell you about my go-to crostini with goat cheese and other goodies, but the sight of fresh figs trumped that idea. So here you have it, one of my favorite ways to enjoy them – stuffed with goat cheese and chorizo (finely ground pork with red chiles, garlic and spices). Fresh figs are only available for a few weeks so grab them if you see them! They are best eaten soft when some of the natural sugar has mingled with the fruit. Not only are they beautiful creations of nature, the fig is sweet and juicy with a flavor all its own. They are perfect with tangy goat cheese and smoky, spicy chorizo. I originally tasted this combination at the now closed Sage Creek Catering (where I learned my culinary chops) and loved the first bite. It’s different and offers an alternative to the ordinary appetizer. Fresh figs are also good sliced and eaten with Manchego cheese.
All you need to make this delight are three fresh figs, some goat cheese, chorizo, good olive oil and dried fine herbs. Fresh chives, flat leaf parsley, or fresh mint can be substituted for fine herbs. The only cooking involved is the chorizo, which doesn’t take long to brown. I like to cook up a half pound and save the rest for breakfast or dinner – if it’s not in the meal plan then I’ll freeze the cooked meat for up to two weeks. Chorizo has a distinct flavor but if you can’t find it (or eat it), try using spicy Italian sausage or your favorite spicy turkey sausage. To make room for the cheese and chorizo mixture, cut an X in the fig half and press it open from the bottom. Any leftover stuffed figs can be chopped up and smeared on warm toast for breakfast the next morning. After the figs are all stuffed, grab a glass of your favorite white wine and start a Scrabble game with your honey or favorite friend(s).
Eat well and share the love!
Fresh Figs with Goat Cheese & Chorizo
Recipe: Melissa Schenker/Foodie for Two
Serves two foodies
¼ to ½ pound chorizo (only need 2 tablespoons of cooked chorizo)
1 teaspoon oil (vegetable, canola, olive or grape seed)
3 fresh figs, cut in half lengthwise
4 tablespoons goat cheese
¼ teaspoon fine herbs (dried parsley, tarragon,chervil, chives)
¼ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for
Pinch of kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
Cook the Chorizo
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add a teaspoon of oil. Add the chorizo and spread out with the back of a spoon. Cook until browned on one side and turn chorizo patty over; break up with the back of a spoon. Continue to cook and break up the meat with back of spoon until browned and crumbled, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and let drain. Measure out 2 tablespoons and store the rest for later (covered in refrigerator for two days, or freezer for two weeks).
Make the Filling
In a small bowl, mix together with a fork the chorizo, goat cheese, dried herbs, ¼ teaspoon olive oil, and the pinches of salt and pepper until well combined and like a thick paste.
Wash and dry the figs. Cut each in half lengthwise and with a paring knife cut an X in the middle of the fruit. Gently press open from the bottom to make room for the filling. Add a generous teaspoon of filling into each fig, lightly pressing it into the X. Drizzle with some good extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of fine herbs and some fresh cracked pepper. Serve immediately.
- Leftover stuffed figs – A light breakfast:
Store figs covered overnight in the refrigerator. Chop up stuffed figs and toast some good bread. Spread the fig mixture on warm toast and add a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy with your morning tea or coffee.
- Don’t have dried fine herbs on hand? Substitute fresh chives, or flat leaf parsley, or fresh mint