Goat Cheese Stuffed Figs

By Beacon Staff

Late summer is a wonderful time for food lovers. The crops we have watched grow throughout the spring and early summer are ripe and ready to start being harvested. Although they do not grow locally, we do start to see one of most loved of all the late harvest fruits – and that is the fig.

Fig trees are the oldest planted fruit trees with some in the Mediterranean dating back centuries. The fruit vary in size and shape, the most familiar to us being the small green or purple pear-shaped variety known simply as the common fig that are grown in Washington and Oregon. Because of their short shelf life most of the figs produced each year are made into preserves or dried. For a very short time period, which happens to be right now, we can get fresh figs in our local markets. That is when I like to make this recipe.

Before getting started you will need to gather the following ingredients:
12 fresh figs
1 pound fresh goat cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 lemon, zest only
2 T. fresh thyme
Salt & Pepper
Honey (optional)

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Next, combine the goat cheese, bread crumbs, eggs, lemon zest and thyme in a food processor and pulse to combine. Make sure to season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the cheese mixture and place in a large plastic bag, hold at room temperature.

Now, with a pairing knife cut an X in the top of each fig and place on a baking sheet. Cut a hole in a corner of the plastic bag and using it like a piping bag gently fill each fig with the goat cheese.

Once you have filled each fig, place them in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the figs are warm and the cheese has set up. Remove from the oven and drizzle with the honey. I like to use this dish as a garnish for grilled fish or lamb, but it also makes a wonderful dessert or appetizer … Enjoy!

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