Monday, September 27, 2010

Recipe for Roasted Figs with Goat Cheese and Balsamic-Agave Glaze

Roasted Figs with Goat Cheese and Balsamic-Agave GlazeLast Friday I talked about nice people giving me things from their gardens, and the garden windfalls included a container of fresh figs my brother Rand picked from his tree. Figs don't grow in Utah so I haven't eaten them that often, but I think these are Mission Figs, named for the Fathers who settled California. This was my first time cooking figs, so I used Food Blog Search to find interesting things that other food bloggers had done with them. I wanted a dish without added sugar, and I'm a fan of savory-sweet combinations, so I adapted a couple of roasted figs ideas into something that was perfect for me. I loved the Roasted Figs with Goat Cheese and Balsamic-Agave Glaze, which I think would make a lovely appetizer or not-too-sweet dessert for a dinner party if you're lucky enough to have fresh figs where you live.

I had eaten a few of the figs by the time I got around to cooking some, but for this recipe I considered two figs (four halves) to be an appetizer or dessert serving. You can adapt the recipe for as many figs as you have on hand!

If you had individual little ovenproof dishes that would hold four fig halves for each person, that would be a lovely way to serve this for a dinner party. I used this casserole dish which held the four figs I used. Start to preheat the oven to 400F, and then spray the dish with a little non-stick spray or brush with olive oil. Cut off the stem end of each fig, and then cut them in half lengthwise and lay in the dish.

Cut a thin slice of goat cheese and lay on top of each fig half. If you keep the goat cheese in the fridge until right before you cut it, it's easier to slice.

Whisk together the balsamic vinegar and agave nectar to make a syrup that will be drizzled over the figs and goat cheese before roasting. (I used Amber agave nectar, but I think light would also be fine. You could use honey if you don't have agave nectar, but it's not as diet friendly if you're following the South Beach Diet. By the way, if you've been reading the warnings about certain brands of agave nectar, here is why I think my brand of agave nectar is safe and information about some of the myths concerning agave nectar.)

Drizzle the balsamic-agave glaze over the figs and goat cheese.

Roast for 15-18 minutes, or until figs are hot and slightly cooked and cheese is melted. You can use a spoon to drizzle more glaze over the top halfway through the cooking time if you'd like. Serve hot and enjoy!


Roasted Figs with Goat Cheese and Balsamic-Agave Glaze
(Makes 2 appetizer or dessert servings, recipe adapted from YumSugar, who adapted it from The Food Network.)

Ingredients:
4 ripe figs (I used Mission Figs that my brother Rand brought me from California.)
8 thin slices of goat cheese
1 1/2 T good quality balsamic vinegar
2 T amber or light agave nectar (Can also use honey, but it's not as South Beach Diet friendly.)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (I didn't use a lot of either)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Spray a small baking dish with non-stick spray or brush with olive oil.

Cut the stem end off of each fig, then cut figs in half lengthwise and lay in baking dish with cut side up. Cut 8 thin slices of goat cheese and lay on top of each fig half. (If you have a larger roll of goat cheese you could cut 4 slices, then cut each in half.)

Whisk together balsamic vinegar and agave nectar, then drizzle over the cheese-topped figs. Lightly season figs with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Roast for 15-18 minutes, until the figs are hot and lightly cooked and cheese is melted. You can use a spoon to drizzle more glaze over the figs halfway through the baking time if you'd like.

Serve hot, and wait for compliments! (And if you have a brother with a fig tree, be sure to tell him how much you liked it so you can get more figs delivered in the future!)


Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
The goat cheese I used in this recipe has 4 grams of fat per ounce, which makes it fit the guidelines for low-fat cheese for the South Beach Diet, and agave nectar is a low-glycemic sweetener, but this is a calorie-dense dish and would probably be considered phase 3 for the diet, or possibly as a "once-in-a-while treat" for phase 2.

More Bloggers Make Drool-Worthy Dishes with Figs:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Figs! (a collection of fig recipes) from Simply Recipes
Fig Galette from Simply Recipes
Fresh Fig, Orange and Pecan Muffins (and a collection of recipes that shows why she's called "Fig Blogga") from Food Blogga
Two Recipes for Fresh Fig Cake from Food Blogga
Proscuitto Wrapped Figs from Guilty Kitchen
Warm Fig, Apple, and Gorgonzola Flatbread from Steamy Kitchen
Fresh Figs with Blue Cheese and Honey from Use Real Butter
Roasted Figs with Cheese and Eggs from Local Lemons
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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36 comments:

  1. I must find fresh figs right away! Like you, I love appetizers and desserts that are more savory than sweet, so the combination of figs and the cheese, with the sweet-tart glaze, sounds irresistible.

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  2. I'm loving figs this season in so many delicious ways. I think we might be like to still have another couple weeks of them so I'll have to try them with goat cheese! Looks delicious, Kalyn.

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  3. Lydia, thanks. I have to say, I absolutely loved this. Now I'm wondering if I can get figs at Whole Foods?

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  4. I only recently discovered grilled figs Kalyn, Just too good for words.

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  5. Cara, we must have been commenting at the same time! I think I'm jealous of your fig abundance!

    Val, I think grilled figs sound wonderful!

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  6. I've made figs similar to this and they were wonderful. one fabulous addition was crumbling marcona almonds on top and drizzling with olive oil -- the sweet and salty went really well with the creamy and crunchy. also, I broiled them for just 3-4 minutes but next time I will try roasting. thanks!

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  7. Luna, I love the idea of adding almonds for some crunch!

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  8. This looks delicious. I can't wait to try it.

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  9. Gorgeous! I am addicted to Trader Joe's fig Greek yogurt, so I'm thinking I might love this, as well. So great to see recipes with agave, too (says the woman with a bottle she's not sure what to do with ...)

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  10. The sweet and savoury aspect given to these figs was just perfection. The goat cheese will make my tummy very happy indeed.

    Flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

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  11. Mmm figs are far and above one of my most favorite fruits and I just can't keep them on the counter this season because I INHALE so quickly! This dessert looks fantastic...I love the fig balsamic combination. I'm definitely going to have to try to exert some self control so I can try it!

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  12. Fig love! I never even tried figs until a few years ago ... silly me! I consider them a treat now. :-) This recipe would be fantastic with some of my friend's goat cheese! I agree that your presentation in the individual baking dishes would be fantastic for a dinner party. I'm thinking for one of my girlfriend gatherings. ;-)

    Thanks, Kalyn!
    Shirley

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  13. Jenn, love the sound of fig Greek yogurt. There are a few other recipes with agave on the blog (just enter "Agave" into the search bar to find them.)

    Claudia, thanks. It did hit the spot for me.

    Joanne, I loved the balsamic with the figs too.

    Shirley, I would love it if you made this for your friends.

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  14. I just found your site and wanted to say THANK YOU! I started South Beach this week and it was a pleasure to find a website with recipes outside the recommendations in the book. I'm also one who appreciates good food photography to accompany my recipe, so I think I'll be spending a lot of time here.

    We made your tofu recipe (the Mark Bitman adaptation) last night and it was excellent. I haven't used green onions in that way and I liked how they had a charred, sweet, stickiness about them.

    I just saw this recipe and was intrigued, since they do have figs on sale at our Whole Foods store. We'll have to give it a shot!

    I did want to point out that agave is not necessarily the healthy, natural product it claims to be. It's highly processed...here's an article I read a while back: http://www.foodrenegade.com/agave-nectar-good-or-bad/. I've tried to use Michael Pollen's philosophy when it comes to eating: don't eat things your grandparents wouldn't recognize. It's definitely helped me navigate the food selection at the grocery store.

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  15. Nate, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you about the agave. And if we only ate things our grandparents would recognize, then I could never have figs, goat cheese, or balsamic vinegar either, because my grandparents never saw any of those products either.

    Glad you are enjoying the blog.

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  16. Wow does that look scrumptious. I've never been into figs. But this recipe might tempt me. (I saw figs here at the WeHo Whole Foods this week.)

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  17. The grandparents remark wasn't intended to be taken literally. My grandparents probably never saw a fig either...but if they had been from India or even California, they likely would have. The point was to stay away from processed foods & additives that have been engineered in the last 50-years. Goat cheese and balsamic vinegar would be exempt from that rule as well!

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  18. Very nice fig presentation, Kalyn. I've prepared figs a similar way but wrapped them in prosciutto to hold in all that good cheese. Way more fat, but so good.
    Thank you so much for that link about agave. I had given it up because of all the bad press but still have a bottle of Madhava in my fridge. It was the one I bought initially because it was so minimally processed. It's good to know I have one of the better products out there.

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  19. Karri, the figs were so good. I think this is only the second or third time I've eaten them.

    Nate, the point I was trying to make is that it's an overly simplistic way to look at ingredients, whether you take it literally or not. But even more important, I don't believe I need to justify the ingredients I use on my own blog. I don't know if you looked at the agave links I put in the post, but I included those to make my position clear, and in hopes of avoiding a debate in the comments about it. If you have an issue with agave, then of course you should not use it.

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  20. Christine, I must have been typing a comment at the same time you were. Figs with proscuitto sounds heavenly.

    I don't use agave all that frequently, but I do think there has been a lot of hype about the "dangers" associated with it. Glad it was useful for you. I do believe that everyone should be "pro choice" about other people's food decisions!

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  21. Wonderful recipe, Kalyn... me and my beloved tend to eat the fruit fresh, and I confess I've never ever even tried a roasted fig. Sounds luscious, though

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  22. Sally, the roasted figs were just heavenly, a bit more concentrated flavor than when you eat them raw.

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  23. Those look divine, Kalyn. And thanks for the links!

    Your friend, Fig Blogga. ;)

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  24. Susan, you have to be the best fig blogga ever! Thanks for stopping by.

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  25. I'm so happy to have found you, Kalyn! We're just getting started on the South Beach diet, but you are confirming what we believe: that it can be done without sacrificing delicious food! Thanks!

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  26. Hi there,

    I just stumbled upon your blog, and am very pleasantly surprised at all the wonderful recipes you have decided to share for us South Beach dieters. I haven't tried any yet, but I simply can not wait to do so!! It appears that you put a lot of time and effort into this site, which may soon become my most frequently visited web site. I just started back up on the plan after slipping back after a summer chocked full of birthday bashes and their evil foods that go along with them! Thanks in advance, talk to you again soon!

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  27. Marieellen, I hope the blog will be useful for you. Good luck getting back on the plan.

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  28. What a great recipe. I love all the flavors! Sound very similar to a tart I made recently with fresh figs...will have to try it with the goat cheese though. Mmmm.

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  29. Dawn, thanks. I did love it. Fig Tart sounds heavenly too.

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  30. I'm knew to figs, these look wonderful Kalyn, next time I see figs in the market, I plan on trying these.

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  31. Gina, I know you'll like them. They're a new ingredient for me too, but I loved the figs.

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  32. Gemma, thanks. I really did love it.

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  33. I made this last night and it was delicious! Thanks for all of your wonderful recipes!

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  34. Diana, you're welcome. So glad you liked it.

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