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.
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
Marinated Figs with Sweet Gorgonzola Preparation
- Combine all ingredients (except the Gorgonzola!) in a medium saucepan.
- Over medium heat, bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Happy New Year! May it bring you delicious journeys in all the facets of your lives.