There are endless ways to serve these skewered honey glazed figs. They are terrific served hot off the grill as an appetizer accompanied by small chunks of sharp aged Gouda, Cheddar, aged goat (a favorite made in California is called Capricious), or a Dry Jack, another favorite cheese from California. Sometimes I serve the warm figs, still on their skewers on a bed of lightly dressed salad greens sprinkled with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, or draped with a thin slice of prosciutto di Parma or Black Forest Ham.
They also make a nice snack accompanied by thin sliced ham or salami, slivered iced fennel, and black olives. I use them to garnish fig risotto, grilled meats, pan seared duck breasts, Cornish hens, or roasted chicken.
To keep the rosemary sprigs from burning, soak them in cold water for about 30 minutes before skewering the figs and grilling.
Makes 4 servings
4 stems fresh rosemary each about 6- inches long
4 large firm ripe figs, any variety, stems trimmed, halved lengthwise
3 cup honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Strip rosemary leaves from the bottom of the stems leaving about 1-inch of leaves at the tip. Finely chop 2 teaspoons of rosemary leaves and reserve.
2. Place the stems in a bowl and add cold water to cover; soak at least 30 minutes. Drain and blot dry.
3. Skewer two fig halves crosswise on each rosemary stem. Arrange skewers, figs cut sides up, on a plate. Stir honey and lemon juice together in small bowl. Brush cut sides of figs with honey mixture.
4. Preheat the broiler or grill. Grill or broil the figs until lightly browned and softened, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Sprinkle evenly with rosemary leaves. Serve while still warm.
Use a variety of fresh figs for this pudding like dessert. The mixture of flavors, sizes, colors, and textures are pleasing to the palate and to the eye.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
3 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
1 pound mixed sizes and colors fresh figs, stems trimmed, halved lengthwise, or quartered if large
1 2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 350<F. Generously butter a 10-inch pie plate or other round shallow baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with 1 tablespoon of the sugar.
2. Whisk the milk, cream, eggs, and vanilla in a large measuring cup or bowl with a pouring spout until blended. Sift the flour, 3 cup sugar, and the salt into a separate large bowl. Gradually whisk the milk into the flour mixture until fairly smooth. Pour through a strainer and into the prepared pie plate pressing down on any lumps of flour in the strainer to dissolve them.
3. Arrange the figs, cut side up on top of the batter. Dot the surface with small pieces of butter.
4. Bake until the edges are puffed and golden and the clafouti is cooked in the center, 50 to 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and sprinkle the top evenly with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar while it's still warm. Serve warm or at room temperature spooned into dessert bowls.