Lavender and Cheese-Stuffed Figs
Brace yourself for a peak sensual
- Use only the ripest, most
flavorful figs. If they're out of season, you could substitute
another soft-fleshed ripe fruit, like nectarines or apricots„
or even cherries. In a pinch, you could also use dried figs. Better
to use a good dried fig than a mediocre or tasteless fresh
- Mascarpone is a sublimely smooth, slightly sweet Italian cream
cheese. If you can't get mascarpone, substitute a high-quality
cream cheese. Also, if you can't get gorgonzola, replace it with a
good brand of domestic blue cheese.
- Lavender & Cheese-Stuffed Figs are good at room temperature
or cold. They'll keep for several days; carefully seal up the whole
plate of figs and refrigerate.
1/3 cup mascarpone, at room temperature
3 tablespoons crumbled gorgonzola
1 tablespoon stripped lavender leaves, finely minced
1 tablespoon stripped lavender blossoms
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted and thoroughly cooled
A dash of salt (optional)
6 medium-sized ripe figs, about 2 inches long (1
A little fresh lemon juice
A little honey
- Place the mascarpone in a small bowl and stir to soften. (Be
patient„it's a bit sticky.) Slowly stir in the crumbled
gorgonzola, 1 tablespoon of the lavender, and 3 tablespoons of the
toasted, cooled pine nuts, and mix until it is well blended. Add a
dash of salt to taste, if desired.
- Cut the figs in half lengthwise, so they can retain their
lovely shape. Use your finger or the back of a teaspoon to slightly
depress the open center of each fig, then sprinkle the figs with a
little lemon juice.
- Mound a small amount of the cheese mixture in the middle of
each open fig, pressing down lightly. Drizzle a little honey over
the filling, and place a few extra pine nuts decoratively on
- Arrange the stuffed figs on your favorite small, fancy plate,
and scatter the lavender blossoms over and among the figs. Serve
right away, or cover the plate tightly with plastic wrap, and
refrigerate until serving time.