Every fig season has me more excited that the last. When I spotted a stack of plump, fresh figs at the grocery store this season with no one around, I wanted a bullhorn to shout: "People! The figs are here!"
After containing myself, I picked up a plastic carton of the tender morsels, inspected all sides to ensure none were damaged, then lowered the container into my shopping basket, peering at it as if it were a newborn child.
My love of figs has prompted a life-long hunt for new and interesting fig recipes. Last year, I made a delicious fig tart and fig, bacon, and arugula salad. This year, I wanted something I could make fast as a appetizer so I stuffed them with blue cheese and pecans and served them on slices of speck.
The warm sweet fig with blue cheese and speck created an explosion of salty-sweet flavor that had me hooked and wanting more.
Blue Cheese Stuffed Figs with Speck
12 Black Mission or Brown Turkey figs
1 small bunch parsley, minced
1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
3 tablespoons chopped pecans
6 slices of speck
Preheat oven to 425. Stem each fig and slice a shallow "X" on the top (if the cut is too deep, such as in the photo, above, the figs will fall apart in the oven -- I learned the hard way!). Mix together the cheese, pecans, and parsley. Fill each fig with a spoonful of the mixture. Place them on a baking sheet (a Silpat non-stick cooking mat makes for easy clean-up) and in the oven for about 12 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
Lay the speck flat across each plate and top with the baked figs.