Thursday, December 30, 2010

Marinated Figs with Gorgonzola Dolce

I shall try to be succinct. I'm working on it but it doesn't always happen. After I put "end of play" at well... the end of a play. I spend months taking out stuff. Because I said it too many times.
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I wanted to leave you with a simple and "all-grown-up" appetizer for the New Year. I hope 2011 brings you simplicity and delectables. With a touch of excess to keep it interesting and savory to heighten the sweet.

If you like contrast you will like this. A touch of sharp with the sweet and crunch with the smooth, yes - you will like this very much.
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Marinated Figs with Sweet Gorgonzola Ingredients- serves 6-8
(Adapted from Tastes of Italia)
1 cup dried figs
1 cup ruby port wine
1/4 cup vincotto or a good balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
zest of 1 lemon
12-16 ounces Gorgonzola dolce
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Marinated Figs with Sweet Gorgonzola Preparation
  1. Combine all ingredients (except the Gorgonzola!) in a medium saucepan.
  2. Over medium heat, bring to a boil.
  3. Lower the heat and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. To serve: serve warm of at room temperature. Combine the figs on a plate with a wedge of Gorgonzola dolce. If desired, provide crackers or bread. Spoon some sauce over a piece of the Gorgonzola and enjoy.
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I was fortunate to still have vincotto given to me by Sausage Debauchery. A good balsamic works very well here.
The Gorgonzola dolce is more mellow (it's a younger, creamier blue cheese) than most blue cheeses. It brings out the sweetness of the marinated figs. As with most Italian appetizers, you can play with this. Leave out the nuts or use hazelnuts. Add other dried fruits. In a season that sparkles with sugar and entices children, this fig and Gorgonzola appetizer is made for adults.
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During the simmering process, the port wine and vincotto (or balsamic vinegar) cook down to a thick, syrup glaze coating the figs and nuts. The figs become plumper and sweeter. This would also be delicious over gelato, ice cream or a sweet mascarpone-ricotta mixture. It is important to note that a lot of the alcohol does burn off but not all of it.
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As 2010 draws to a close, I want to thank-you for your friendship. When I began the blog as an archive of recipes and stories, I had no idea how enriched I would become by meeting you via food and the wonders of cybersphere. Meeting Pat from Mille Fiori Favoriti "for real" courtesy of Bertolli Foods was proof positive these friendships are not nebulous. Grazie. To all of you.
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And for fun: if you are snowed in and want to read a tantalizing discussion that went on in Dianne Jacob's "Will Write for Food" blog, click here. I dare you to not be intrigued. The topic: Is food blogging too much work? The answers are filled with passion, love, and there are some razor sharp insights into food blogging.
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Happy New Year! May it bring you delicious journeys in all the facets of your lives.

57 comments:

3 hungry tummies said...

That is scrumptious! I love the combination of fig and gorgonzola and the fig season is just around the corner :)
Food blogging too much work? Not at all :)
Happy new year my friend!

Beth said...

I've turned into a big fan of figs, so I'll give this one a try. I'll also take a look at Dianne's blog. Sounds interesting!

Pegasuslegend said...

I have never dabbled with fig recipes, this sounds like one I would just never stop eating. Love the combinations of flavors! Hope you have a fabulous New Year I am truly grateful to havet he pleasure of meeting you this year...looking for ward to 2011 and your outstanding contributions to the blogging world!

Sandra said...

That sounds awesome! What a great combination. I am wishing you the Best New Year!

Amy said...

This sounds like a wonderful delicious appetizer! I love blue cheese, especially with figs :)! Happy New Year!

Kori said...

This sounds great and so festive! I love blue cheese...and adding figs sounds like a perfect combo!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Claudia one of my most cherished memories of this year was meeting you and our whirlwind tour of LA! What a fun adventure that was!

You always have the very best cheese appetizers and this one is exceptional! I can taste the salty sweetness of it in my mind and I know I'd love it. It would be perfect with a glass of champagne!

A very happy and healthy new year to you and your family!

Island Vittles said...

I love simple recipes that maximize flavour -- and this looks like just that to me! Theresa

Trish said...

It's the simplest recipes that are often the best. Figs paired with cheese is one of my most favorite things. Thanks for sharing.

Happy New Year to you!

My Taste Heaven said...

aww...this is so special. really feel like trying! =]

happy 2011 to you! god bless xx

Mister Meatball said...

Gifted vincotto, "whirlwinds" to LA... What's a Meatball gotta do to get on THAT social list??!!!

Happy New Year!

And nice figs.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I love taste contrasts Claudia. Figs and blue cheese sound delicious. Hope you have a happy new year.
Sam

Lizzy said...

Mmmmmmm....sucha lovely flavor combination!! Brava!

Frank said...

Mmmm... doesn't this look good? I bet it would go nicely with a little champagne...

Happy New Year to you and yours, looking forward to more lovely recipes in the coming year.

Anncoo said...

Love the color, looks great and delicious!
Happy New Year to you and all the best in 2011!

Nancy said...

Hi Claudia,
Wow, what a delectable combination! Figs and gorgonzola are such naturals together, and the port and balsamic in there too...yum. Perfect for a holiday celebration. Happy New Year!

All the best,
Nancy

whatsfordinneracrossstatelines said...

Sounds like my kind of grown up treat! I could of never have imagined the journey would take me where it has, such a pleasure to have found other such as yourself that has brought me joy!
Wishing you and your family a Very Happy New Year!
-Gina-

tasteofbeirut said...

Excellent appetizer! I have noted the adress of the vincotto purveyor, as I want to try some asap!
Happy New Year!

Torviewtoronto said...

looks wonderful
happy new year to you and family

Foodessa said...

Plump, sweet tantalizing...wow, for a moment there, I thought you were describing me after the Christmas feast, LOL
Love the figs and gorgonzola pairing and the accompaniment of nuts are great for the nut that I am ;o)
Glad you mentioned Dianne's post...which I'll go read as soon as I get a little time to myself.

Here's wishing you and your loved ones a fabulous New Year ahead,
Claudia

Biren @ Roti n Rice said...

Sounds like a delicious appetizer! Thank you also for your friendship. Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year!

Lynda said...

What great appetizers; I haven't had figs in years.
I've enjoyed "knowing" you Claudia. Your blog is one of my most favorites- a place to stop and be refreshed! May you have a Happy New Year!

My Little Space said...

Claudia, Happy New Year to you & yours! This is such a flavourful post. Hope in year 2011 is as sweet & flavourful as this yummilicious treat. Have a fabulous time & enjoy the holiday.
Blessings, Kristy ((hugs))

Reeni said...

I have a secret love affair with figs Claudia! Noone else in my house likes them so I usually don't make anything with them - I just eat them like candy. If I made this I would have to eat the entire thing myself...which could be good and very bad...Hope you're having a wonderful New Year my sweets! xoxo

Mary said...

What wonderful flavor contrasts, Claudia. You just never disappoint. I really have enjoyed my visits here and have become a regular. I hope you have had a wonderful holiday season and that the new year brings you continued health and happiness. Blessings...Mary

fromBAtoParis said...

I know gorgonzola (and I love it) but I have never heard of gorgonzola dolce !!! I have to investigate!
The best for you in 2011!! and thanks for being always there!!

Jen_from_NJ said...

Happy New Year Claudia!! Wishing you a wonderful 2011. I love your sweet and savory appetizer - just perfect!

mangiabella said...

what a wonderful recipe - thank you so much for visiting mangiabella and my most sincere wishes for a happy and healthy new year!

Chow and Chatter said...

wow what a great appetizer you cook so well its lovely to know you Claudia love your passion for great Italian food and your love for your family

hugs

Rebecca

We Are Not Martha said...

This looks SO incredible!! Is there anything better than the gorgonzola fig combo??? LOVE! Happy New Year :)

Sues

Velva said...

Claudia, this is absolutely beautiful. What a flavor combination. If my 2011 is this beautiful and sweet, I will be one lucky girl.

Looking forward to enjoying all of your wonderful posts this coming year.

Here's wishing you a wonderful new year.

Velva

Barbara GF said...

Anything with gorgonzola is fine by me, Claudia. And I love how you marinated those figs - sounds like a perfect combo for the new year.
Buon Anno!

Megan said...

Happy New Year Claudia! May this year be even more fruitful than ever! May it be full of love, friendship, good food and wine! - Megs

Cake Duchess said...

I adore figs! I love gorgonzola...this is my kind of a dish! Happy New Year, Claudia! I look forward to many more of your delicious posts!

Lora

Monet said...

This would be a great way to start a dinner party. I still have pounds of dried figs in my pantry, so this recipe is extra appealing (and who doesn't just love a good gorgonzola?) Thank you for sharing with me tonight. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday.

Kimberly Peterson said...

A very Happy New Year to you and your family. I must try a fig recipe this year. That is my new year's resolution hehe.

Diana's Cocina said...

I adore figs ~ they are my all time favorite ~ I just pop them into my mouth and enjoy!

Quay Po Cooks said...

My hubby used figs in his Christmas rice and since then I love it! This is a "must try" recipe for 2011. Thanks Claudia.

Ruth said...

I can almost taste this! The tanginess of the cheese and the sweet richness of the figs, WOW!!
A very Happy New Year to you! It has been a pleasure following you and I promise to keep on stalking you lol for the next 12 months!

mr. pineapple man said...

this looks amazing!!!

Drick said...

I so much prefer a young Gorgonzola dolce over an older blue and with the sweetness of this fig relish, it must make for one great appetizer - Happy New Year Claudia, hope this week is off to a great start

Marcellina said...

Happy New Year Claudia! Though gorgonzola is not my thing figs really are! Yes, I agree these figs over a mascarpone/ricotta mixture would be divine!

Kate @ Diethood.com said...

That is a finger-licking good recipe! There's something about that combination of figs with cheese - yum yum yum!

5 Star Foodie said...

I love that you marinate the figs and the addition of the nuts. What a great combination with gorgonzola dolce! Happy New Year!

A SPICY PERSPECTIVE said...

Oh figs, how I love thee!

Claudia, you are speaking my language with this one! Happy 2011!

Angie's Recipes said...

Claudia, this looks sinfully decadent! Gorgonzola dolce with port wine...and balsamic...that's a killer combination!

alwayswinner786 said...

Delectable dessert! I will soon be a fig fan!
May each day of the coming year be vibrant and New bringing along many reasons for celebrations. Wishing you Happy New Year 2011!
Your friend always
Sutapa

Kristen said...

I made a slightly similar dish with brie last week. I like your version much better. The fruit, nuts and bleu sound like a better combination than mine with the mild brie.

Sarah Caron said...

Wow, that looks amazing. I am a huge can of gorgonzola ... but what is gorgonzola dolce? Is that a special type of gorgonzola?

In any case, the contrast of the sweet figs and balsamic vinegar with the slightly sharp gorgonzola sounds awesome.

Magic of Spice said...

Wow that is quite a combination of flavors...I love gorgonzola dolce and would be perfect with the sweetness of figs. Wonderful :)

Claudia said...

Sarah: Gorgonzola dolce is a young gorgonzola - so sweeter and more mellow than an aged one - not so strident but still has a small bite.

Bo said...

I love the combination of blue cheese and figs. Happy New Year!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

This looks and sounds divine and I've even got the vincotto in the pantry! It's been truly enriching reading your blog and getting to know you Claudia. All the best to you and yours in the year ahead.

Dimah said...

What a delicious combination of flavors! Looks delicious!

OysterCulture said...

Oh, I love this. I had something very similar at a party recently, and had not had the chance to hunt down a recipe and now you've gone and delivered right to me. This is fantastic!

Elyssa said...

ooooh I love figs! That looks incredible!

Amy said...

Claudia, this sounds delicious! I love figs, and the gorgonzola is the perfect accompaniment!