My hair is on fire! It must be Fig Week! If it is not, I shall declare it so and rejoice!
About these my favorite fruits — So when is a fig not JUST a fig? You don’t need experts, think tanks, or focus groups for this one. A fig becomes something quite different when you fill it with some of your favorite things which come together, elevating it to a little bundle that packs a flavor burst with a single bite. I am talking about one of my favorite appetizer/small plate dishes: STUFFED FIGS WITH SAUSAGE AND GORGONOLA, and there’s no season like the present to introduce these to your table. Couple that with an easy preparation, and you’ve got a winner.
Figs are out there in several varieties in your markets and they are just waiting for you: Mission, Brown Turkey, Calimyrna and more. Many of you are lucky to have a beautiful fig tree growing in your own yard with its large lush green leaves OR have a generous friend with a fig tree and extra figs to share. Wherever you can get ‘em, grab ‘em – and get cooking with them as their season lasts only into October in most places. This is an opportunity to enjoy something healthy and so delicious – a true gift of nature.
With the recipe, STUFFED FIGS WITH SAUSAGE AND GORGONZOLA, you get the best selection of ingredients with which to pair your figs. Consider these, which seem to identify with figs, and when brought all together with them… well… BOO-YAH: Italian Sausage, Gorgonzola Cheese, purple onions, walnuts and perhaps the most “fig-friendly” – HONEY! Whatever ingredients you bring to your fig recipes, they all seem to cry, “where’s the honey?” Bees and figs – sympatico!
Let’s start stuffing…
STUFFED FIGS WITH SAUSAGE AND GORGONZOLA
Makes: approx. 15 stuffed figs
About 15 Plump Fresh Figs
½ lb. Italian Sausage out of the casings – a spicier sausage is best ( You can add a little Red Pepper Flakes, if you’d like to jazz it up.)
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
¼ C. chopped purple onion
½ C. Gorgonzola Cheese or Blue Cheese – crumbled (don’t use pre-crumbled)
½ C. Walnuts – coarsely chopped
1/4 Tsp. Cinnamon
2 Tbsp. Fresh parsley
1 beaten egg (optional)
Generous drizzle of honey – about 3 tablespoons (If you can get local honey – all the better!)
Brown sausage in the oil. Remove to a bowl with slotted spoon.
Cook onion in same pan til tender & add to sausage.
Add Gorgonzola,Walnuts, Cinnamon, & Parsley.
Mix the ingredients together for stuffing.
The egg is optional and only serves to hold the stuffing together better.
Slice figs down the middle from the stem area but not all the way through.
Then turn and do this again – making quarters all still attached & not severing the bottom. Isn’t this gorgeous?
Fill the figs with stuffing.
Put in oiled baking dish.
Drizzle generously with honey. I like Wildflower Honey on my figs. It brings a lovely flowery flavor to them.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes or until heated through and cheese is slightly melted.
STUFFED FIGS WITH SAUSAGE AND GORGONZOLA present a beautiful and interesting appetizer, side dish, or luncheon entree. I like them best On the Patio or even under the fig tree on a warm afternoon or evening. Ahhhhh!
For me, they pair well with a lighter red wine like a delicious ruby Valpolicella or even a dry Italian Rosé (Rosato).
PARLA COME MANGI!
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Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography
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