This is such a popular combination, and for good reason: figs are sweet and a little grainy and goat’s cheese is smooth and lemony-sharp, so interest is created with the contrasts of taste and texture. While these are lovely eaten fresh, and I like to drizzle with a generous splash of vincotto, they can also be baked. Figs and cheese then soften to a sweet luscious mouthful, ending with that lemony tang that makes you want another, and another …
6-10 ripe figs (black or green skinned) 100g (3-4 oz) soft goats’ cheese Vincotto (or balsamic glaze)
1 Black-skinned figs are usually quite small and are fine cut in half. Green figs are bigger and can be cut into quarters. Using a small sharp knife cut the figs not quite all the way through, so they will hold together. Place them on a shallow ovenproof dish lined with baking (parchment) paper. Add a slice or teaspoonful of goats’ cheese to each fig. Drizzle with vincotto and serve.
2 If preferred, bake the figs for about 15 minutes in an oven preheated to 180°C (350°F) or until figs and cheese have softened and coloured a little. Cool figs for several minutes before serving. Best served while still warm.
Vin Cotto is grape must that has slowly been reduced until syrupy. The result is sweet and tangy, though less sharp than vinegar. Vincotto is flavoured with figs, raspberries, Seville oranges, pomegranates and other fruits. Use it in dressings, sweet and savoury, or drizzle over grilled stonefruit.