Local cheeses, such as Cowgirl Creamery's Mount Tam and Red Hawk, pair beautifully with figs oven-poached in red wine and spices.
- Yield: Makes 12
Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2005
- 12 fresh figs
- 1/4 cup tawny port
- 1/4 cup full-bodied red wine, such as Pinot Noir
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 orange zest, 3 inches, plus 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 stick cinnamon, 3 inches
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- 2 whole green cardamom pods, split open
- 2 whole cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Put figs in an 8-inch square ceramic or glass baking dish. Pour port, wine, honey, and orange juice over figs. Submerge remaining ingredients in the liquid around figs. Cover dish with foil, and bake 1 hour.
Remove foil; continue to bake 45 minutes more, basting 2 or 3 times with accumulated juices. Let cool completely, turning figs occasionally to keep moist.
Transfer figs to a plate. Pour liquid through a fine sieve into a bowl; reserve for fig vinaigrette. Discard solids. Figs can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days.