Grilled Gorgonzola Figs With Honey Balsamic Dressing


We have a huge fig tree behind our property here in Umbria that has been abandoned and ignored that I pick fresh figs from every fall. I went out last week and picked the last figs of the season with mixed feelings. Although I was sad to realize I’d have no more fresh figs this year, I was very grateful for all the baskets of figs that I was gifted so far this year that were turned into Spiced Fig Jam, Onion & Fig Relish, and our favorite Fig & Apple Pie. I decided though to do something extra special with these last few figs of the season and this recipe was created.

The natural sweetness of figs works really well with gorgonzola cheese, so I stuffed the figs with balls of gorgonzola rolled in chopped toasted walnuts, grilled them, then served them on crisp greens dizzled with a delicious honey balsamic glaze. Your choice of gorgonzola will depend on how strong you prefer this variety of cheese. You can buy gorgonzola dolce, which is creamy with a milder flavor, or gorgonzola piquante which is drier, and has a much stronger flavor. I find mixing the two cheese works best for me but either will work fine in this recipe. This dish is elegant and easy, and if you are fortunate to have access to fresh figs is a perfect option for entertaining.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Grilled Gorgonzola Figs With Honey, Balsamic Dressing

The natural sweetness of figs works really well with gorgonzola cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 8 Fresh Ripe Figs
  • About 2 Ounces Gorgonzola Cheese (See Note Above)
  • 1/3 Cup Toasted, Finely Chopped Walnuts
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

To Serve:

  • Fresh Dressed Greens
  • 2 Tablespoons Full Flavored Honey (I Used Chestnut Honey)
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

Directions:

  1. Trim off the stem end of the figs, and using a sharp knife cut an X into the top of the fig 3/4 of the way down leaving the bottom of the fig attached.
  2. Roll some of the gorgonzola into small balls about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch in size, then roll the balls into the walnuts gently pressing the walnuts into the cheese balls.
  3. Place the figs on a baking sheet, then place a cheese ball into each fig, and gently squeeze the fig to enclose the cheese inside.
  4. Brush the figs lightly with a little olive oil and place the figs under a preheated broiler.
  5. Broil until the figs are heated through and the cheese is just beginning to melt.
  6. While the figs are grilling, divide the greens on top of each of four plates.
  7. Mix together the honey, balsamic, and olive oil.
  8. Place the figs on top of the greens and drizzle the figs with a little of the honey, balsamic dressing.
  9. Serve immediately.