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so blue

Recipe: fresh figs with blue cheese and honey

My parents left early this morning to catch their flight home. I saw the tail lights of the car disappear into the inky black night and called to the two glowing eyes in the yard (presumably Kaweah) to come inside. When we got up a few hours later, Kaweah came trotting down the stairs next to me sniffing around the great room looking for my dad. He is her new best friend. She LOVES him. When she didn’t see him, she followed me down to the first floor and looked around the guest room, then looked around outside in the yard. She was happy enough to eat her breakfast (we call all meals dinner – it saves confusion for her) but then seemed a little mopey all day. Poor pup. We had quite a nice visit with my parents who had never really spent much time in Boulder before. On Monday, we took them to The Kitchen for Community Night and they were sold. We sat next to delightful and charming people, enjoyed great wine and of course – indulged in fine food. I should say we indulged in eleven incredible dishes.


summer bean salad, cherry tomatoes, white anchovy, tarragon vinaigrette

grass fed beef roulade, prosciutto, foraged mushrooms, potato watercress salad

wood fired pizza, roasted peaches, long farm bacon, chèvre, shallot dressing



There are so many good restaurants in Boulder, but I have to say that the absolute best value in town has got to be Community Night. I think this was our eighth Comm Night and we never tire of it (partly because the menu is different every Monday night). We love to go with friends or bring out-of-town guests if they are visiting over a Monday night. Delicious fun is what it is.

half of our comm night table

my mom loved this arugula, frisée, colorado peach, sweet corn, banyuls vinaigrette

house cut tagliatelle, la quercia prosciutto, swiss chard, crushed tomato, parmesan



While my parents truly enjoyed the intimate and special dinner at Flagstaff House for my mom’s birthday, I think The Kitchen was a completely new experience for them. The style of the food at Comm Night is more wholesome than fancy because the chefs let the ingredients speak for themselves. It pops with seasonal freshness in your mouth and the family-style dining brings everyone together as they oooh and ahhh over the delectable dishes. What a great evening.

part of dessert: chocolate torte and meringues with raspberries

at the end of a fine evening



So you know how Jeremy is the pickier eater of the two of us? Well, there are a few foods that I have tried to like, but just couldn’t. Blue cheese is one of them. You can either be astonished or glad because if I don’t like blue cheese, that means there is more for you. I recently did a shoot for a client featuring fresh figs, blue cheese, and honey with candied walnuts. I have enough sense (barely) to know that this is a beautiful combination of flavors despite the fact that I don’t eat blue cheese. So I put a call out on my Facebook page to see if any local friends liked blue cheese.

brown turkey figs from my local whole foods

figs are such gorgeous fruits



At a lunch with my betties a few weeks ago, they asked me what the blue cheese query was about. I explained what I was planning to shoot and how I needed people to come and eat this because I didn’t want to waste the blue cheese. Boy, I never knew how the words “I need people to eat the blue cheese” could light up so many faces! Thankfully, Nichole instructed me to get some advice from the cheese gurus at Whole Foods on what kind of blue to pair with fresh figs because there are different kinds of blues (this, I did not fully appreciate).

gorgonzola dolce – soft and creamy

mashed into a paste



I actually bought two kinds of blue cheese: a soft Gorgonzola dolce for piping and a stronger crumbled Gorgonzola for some other shots. The dolce is nice and mild because you don’t want it to overpower the delicate flavor of the fresh figs. I was told that the stronger blues like a Stilton are better suited to pair with dried figs – both of them pronounced flavors. I love this! You learn something every day.

quarter the figs just to the base

piping creamy dolce blue in the center



I am told that the combination was heavenly or at least quite good. This not only from the blue cheese lovers, but a blue cheese newb (that would be Manisha). I tried some. It was alright, but you know… if I’m not in love with it and it’s high in fat and costs a lot of money, then I’m not going to make myself like it. Call me practical. However, I am positive this makes for a crowd-pleasing appetizer based on the smiles around the room. Get your fresh figs while they are in season!

drizzle the best honey you’ve got

pair with candied walnuts



Fresh Figs with Blue Cheese and Honey
[print recipe]

2 dozen fresh figs (brown turkey in this case)
4 oz. Gorgonzola dolce blue cheese, room temperature
a good honey (I used this brand)
candied walnuts (optional)

Top the figs and cut into quarters from the top down to, but not completely through, the base of the fig. Cream or whip the blue cheese (this won’t work with crumbly blue cheese!) and fill a piping bag. Pipe cheese into the center of each fig. Drizzle honey over the figs and serve with candied walnuts (optional). Serves 24. [Actually, you can probably serve more than 24 with 4 ounces of soft blue cheese - it doesn't take much to fill up the little space in each fig.]

55 nibbles at “so blue”

  1. Wei-Wei says:

    Oh gosh, this looks amazing! I’ve never had figs before but blue cheese and honey seems like it would be such a great pairing with something like pear as well. Actually I’m not sure about that, just what I think ;) Oh yeah, and: I LOVE the way those meringues look. They look like little dollops of whipped cream!

  2. Shoshanna says:

    I love how you presented the figs Jen! Will have to pipe my goat cheese in next time…

  3. Eesh says:

    Thanks for recommending The Kitchen to us. We truly, truly loved it and were so sad not to have made it to community night on our visit. Next time, hopefully.

  4. Dgrub says:

    I love the way you combined flavor of fig by filling it with tangy and creamy gorgonzola dolce blue cheese in the center with honey. Topped with walnut it’s seems like it will be magical!

  5. Nicola says:

    I’m with you, Jen, on the blue cheese. Why take a perfectly good piece of cheese, wrap it in cloth, insert it into the armpit of a unwashed fisherman for three weeks, retrieve it, and then sell it as something delicious? Blerk! No thanks. So all your smiling friends may have my lifetime share of the stuff, too. The figs LOOK great, though!

  6. Steve says:

    Poor Kaweah. Our Lorna knows just how she feels. My wife is away helping one of her younger brothers move into college tomorrow (freshman year). She has been mopey all night. I feel you on the blue cheese. I have never been able to like it. I’m planning on purchasing a dSLR soon. Can’t wait to take some food shots. :-) I always look at the pictures you take and get inspired!

  7. joudie's mood food says:

    Blue cheese and figs is a lovely combination. Beautiful way of piping in to the fig. Great idea. Lovely post….

  8. Grant says:

    The combination of textures here is mind blowing – figs: fleshy, chewy, crunchy (seeds), smooth (skin) – with soft and creamy, stinky (and piped!) blue cheese, and honey: drippy, sticky, sweet, viscid – mucilaginous!

    This is food pornography of epic proportions!

  9. Wawa says:

    I love this flavor combination. One of my favorite indulgent snacks is dried figs, smeared with the stinkiest blue cheese I can find and drizzled with buckwheat honey. It’s the amped up version of your dish, perfect for the depths of winter.

  10. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) says:

    Gorgeous presentation Jen. I love figs. What was wrong with your blog though, I couldn’t get to it all last week?

  11. Nikki says:

    Oh wow! I’m going to make these soon for a party – SO elegant! Thanks for sharing and great photos!

  12. My Kitchen in the Rockies says:

    I love “The Kitchen”, too.
    Figs and gorgonzola are a delicious combo. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Laura B. says:

    So glad that someone who has as much passion for food as you is not a fan of blue cheese! I am not either and when I tell people this, they stick up their nose and assume I must be uncultured.

    Love your Kitchen shots as always!

  14. Kath says:

    I love blue cheese and your figs look heavenly!

  15. DessertForTwo says:

    “if it’s high fat and costs a lot of money, I’m not going to make myself like it”

    I love that! It’s so true with me and lamb. My honey loves lamb, but not me, and why force it?

    Gorgeous photos, as always :)

  16. Carolyn Jung says:

    This is truly one of my all-time flavor combos. You take a bite and it just floods your mouth with every possible taste — sweet, tangy, savory, salty. It’s beyond satisfying.

  17. Lori @ RecipeGirl says:

    Whoa, those figgy apps look so elegant and delicious at the same time!

  18. Linda says:

    I {heart} fresh figs, cheese and honey — it is one of my all time fav flavor combinations. Chevre is usually the cheese I use, so I need to explore using gorgonzola dolce.

    What a feast for the eyes!

  19. Caitlin says:

    You know what’s funny? I’ve never really gotten fresh figs. Maybe it’s just too light a flavor for me, but every time I’ve had them I just go “eh.” Blue cheese though? Love. Maybe this combo would make me love fresh figs more…

  20. heather says:

    finally figs are on sale here! they are a rare treat for it, and when we have it, this is exactly the type of splurge we go for.

    cheers,

    *heather*

  21. Lisa says:

    That looks fantastic. I can’t wait to do this at home.

  22. David says:

    What a great and easy recipe. And your shots are beautiful!
    I usually buy figs that look a little more ripe than yours, they tend to taste more.
    But maybe using younger ones goes better along with the gorgonzola cheese?

  23. Elizabeth says:

    These look divine!

    I know what you mean about not loving the blue cheese..I learned to love it, but for the longest time, all I tasted was…mold. Gross…but now I can appreciate it’s fine flavours…just took me time, and mind over matter I guess.

    Gorgeous shots as always!

  24. Tara says:

    I am one of those “More blue cheese for me!” people – this dish looks delicious and (importantly for me) very easy – thank you for posting it!

  25. Pearl Lee says:

    looks delicious!

  26. Dragana says:

    Goat cheese in your figs would be a great substitute!
    For me there is no better meal than a salad with gorgonzola, figs, prosciutto and honey! I just posted a salad with those items and it is amazing!

  27. Prerna@IndianSimmer says:

    Stunning photographs!
    This is my first time in the blog and I’m so glad I stumbled upon it :-)

  28. Judy says:

    I’ll make you a deal: I’ll take the blue cheese if you take the goat cheese. Maybe I could even tolerate a fig if it was smothered in blue cheese, honey, and walnuts.

  29. G. says:

    the visit with your parents sounded wonderful. i could eat figs all day long (and have). so, so pretty!

  30. Paula says:

    here is so many inspirations!

    have a nice time!
    Paula

  31. megan says:

    I love blue cheese and this looks awesome as well as your dinner did! Looks like a great time!

  32. The real L.A. love story. says:

    that is the cutest way to serve the figs with cheese and honey i have ever seen! love the way you described your restaurant experience but it’s the wine that’s getting to me. :)

  33. Barbara | Vino Luci Style says:

    I use to just hate bleu cheese but seems the more I try it, the better it tastes. I started with gorgonzola which I sort of think of as bleu cheese light and now…some dishes, like this…make my mouth water.

    Of course the photos help but I think you could take a picture of a flat floor and make it come to life.

  34. white on rice couple says:

    So happy that your parents had a great time and like us, we’re SOLD on the Kitchen! What a marvelous place. Community night sounds awesome, sharing food with new friends. SOLD.
    After seeing this beautiful post, we were craving figs. So we went to the farmers market and bought the exact same figs!
    without the blue cheese dream, of course.

  35. Sindy says:

    Try sticking them under the broiler for a a couple of minutes too. I have done this with dried figs regular walnuts and no honey. Can’t wait try it WITH honey…sounds divine!

  36. Nate @ House of Annie says:

    The shot of the honey drizzling on the cheese-stuffed fig is so sexy, it’s borderline pornographic!

  37. Tammy says:

    Jen –

    Oops… I’m such a creeper? I bookmarked your page and have been following it for about 2 years now? I cannot believe I’ve never commented. I think I felt like I needed to have a blog of my own before I was worthy of commenting on yours! Anyway, I LOVE the way you photograph your figs. I just had some honey-drizzled figs myself — it’s the perfect fibrous snack :)

    Best,
    Tam

  38. Prosciutto Wrapped Figs and a Winner! Recipe | Guilty Kitchen says:

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  39. jenyu says:

    Nicola – ha ha ha!!! :)

    Steve – give Lorna a tummy rub for me. Pups are the best companions ever… so devoted! :)

    Grant – I’m not even done with the shoot ;) the clouds keep marching in every afternoon :\

    Avanika – I don’t know. I didn’t have any problems, but then again… it could have been my hosting service (not loving them lately)

    Laura – just as some folks don’t understand how we could not love blue cheese, I’m sure there are foods they don’t like that we adore ;)

    Linda – yup, I’m a chevre fan too!!

    Caitlin – I think ripe fresh figs have a muuuuuch better flavor than underripe. These were a little underripe (but ripe is nice and sweet and lovely)

    David – yeah, I didn’t have much of a selection at Whole Foods that day and couldn’t wait much longer (b/c people came over to eat the figs, so it’s not like I can say “hey wait until they’re ripe” because I live in the sticks…) Perfectly ripe figs are ideal.

    WoRC – next time you come back, we’ll do Comm Night.

    Sindy – great suggestion!

    Tammy – no worries, lots of folks lurk ;) Welcome to urb.

  40. Dina says:

    the figs are exquisite little bites! lovely!

  41. rae says:

    this recipe came from a recent vegetarian times. down to the style of the photos and everything. shouldn’t you credit the magazine? it seems pretty plagarized

  42. Mei Teng says:

    Excellent food photo.

    Have never tasted fresh figs before. Only dried ones. Still, it’s a lovely fruit.

  43. jenyu says:

    rae – seeing as I’ve never cracked open a Vegetarian Times in my life and had no idea they posted a recipe like this, no – I don’t need to credit the mag. My client got inspiration from Organic Gardening and described a shoot he wanted me to set up and photograph for his business. That’s what I did. The candied walnuts were a suggestion (for flavor) from the Whole Foods cheese guy. Please get over yourself.

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    [...] da ficomania. La ricetta di base (io ho apportato lievi modifiche) non è mia, ma la potete trovare qui, corredata pure di bellissime [...]

  45. Lollie says:

    How decadent! I can’t wait to make these for a special occasion.
    PS… I just found your blog and can’t seem to leave to go make dinner. Gorgeous!

  46. Weekly Recipe Wrap Up | Delicious Obsessions says:

    [...] Fresh Figs with Blue Cheese and Honey – While figs aren’t really in season right now, this recipe sounds intriguing. Figs are another ingredient that I’ve been a little intimidated by, but this recipe seems so simple, yet yields such a stunning dish. The photography is absolutely phenomenal too! [...]

  47. Ten Minutes on Pinterest… says:

    [...] a quick look at one of the the must tries I just stumbled upon on pinterest. You can see it {here}. I will give it a go this week and let you know how it turns out Cheers! [...]

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  49. Felia says:

    The meal looks fantastic but these figs… uuuuh…. This looks like heaven for me.

  50. Messy Nessy Chic 10 "Screw it! It's the Weekend" afternoon Snacks I Must try right Now says:

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  51. Gerry says:

    I, fortunately, have a very prolific Brown Turkey Fig tree in my yard, which bears two times from June to August. I make preserves from them, and was looking for something else to create with them. My friend saw your site and sent it to me via Pinterest and I immediate prepared this recipe. I could not find the proper blue cheese, so mixed 2 oz. of creamed cheese with the 2 oz. of blue cheese and they were delicious! Its definitely a recipe I will make again every year when my bounty comes in….Also, I agree that your photos are great!

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  54. becky says:

    Was hungry after class so googled figs and blue cheese and found you! Thank you for the photos. I didn’t have gorganzola but had some cream cheese so mashed that with some blue and stuffed the figs with a fork (was too hungry to pipe lol) and drizzled with honey.

    Yum! Thank you!

  55. Kyle says:

    What a great idea, certainly a treat for parties.

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