In his book, The Herbfarm Cookbook, Jerry Traunfeld says that “in summer and autumn when fresh figs are readily available, they become ambrosial when grilled and drizzled with honey infused with thyme. Serve them as an appetizer before dinner or a fruit-and-cheese course to end the meal.
- ¼ cup mild or medium-strength honey, such as clover or blackberry
- 6 3-inch sprigs fresh English thyme or lemon thyme
- 12 large ripe figs
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 best-quality artisan-style baguette
- 6 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, at room temperature
Directions: 1. Thyme honey. Bring the honey to a simmer in a small saucepan and add the thyme sprigs. Let sit off the heat for 15 minutes or more while grilling the figs and bread. 2. Grilling the figs. Start a charcoal fire in an outdoor grill or preheat a gas grill. (I used a stove top grill pan and it worked fine). Cut the figs in half and toss them in a small bowl with 2 teaspoons olive oil and the thyme leaves. Adjust the grill rack 4 inches from the fire. When the charcoal is ashed over and glowing or the gas grill is medium-hot, grill the figs quickly until they are heated through but not collapsed, 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Transfer them to a platter.
3. Toasts. Cut 24 ½-inch-thick slices from the bread and brush both sides lightly with olive oil. Toast the bread on both sides on the grill away from direct heat. Spread the cheese on the toasts and top them with the figs.
4. Serving. Remove the thyme sprigs from the honey with a fork and discard them, then drizzle the warm thyme honey over the figs and toasts. Serve at once.
Yield: 8 to 12 servings (These can also be grilled inside on a stove top grill pan; fun to prepare in front of your guests).
Note: We simplified the recipe somewhat by serving the grilled figs spread with Gorgonzola cheese then drizzled with honey. We eliminated the “toasts” because of our full menu.