The Boy and I spent ten glorious days in Lanzarote back in October and while we explored the sun-soaked scenery, we ate our way around the island. It wasn't just the cacti that caught my eye on our travels but the fig trees that were starting to bare fruit. It was like sweet torture to see the branches covered in immature figs that wouldn't be ready to eat during our holiday. We feasted on dates with bacon (which were amazing - I'll have to work on a recipe!) and dried figs but nothing saited my hunger for the fresh variety.
Now that I'm back home in far less exotic climes, I spotted a carton of figs which was reduced to clear. Fortuitiously, there was also a pack of Danish Blue cheese in the bargain bin that was going for a song. I simply couldn't resist - somethings are just meant to be.
For a lunchtime treat, remove the stalks and quarter ripe fresh figs by cutting nearly all the way to the bottom of the fruit but not quite. Gently pull each one open and crumble blue cheese into the cavity before gently squeezing back together. If you're feeling fancy, you would wrap the whole thing in whisps of parma ham. Serve with a fresh salad of winter leaves.
The intensely savory notes of the cheese are countered by the sweet juices of the fig. If you can't get your hands on fresh ones, try combining blue cheese with fig jam, quince cheese or even bog-standard strawberry jam. Combine the flavours in an up-market canape by topping a bite-sized cracker with a thin slice of fig and a sliver of cheese.