This easy gluten free appetizer is perfect when fresh figs are in season, that is September here in New England. My preference is black figs, but use what looks good in your area. The quality of the balsamic vinegar makes a difference and I have attached a link to my local vinegar shop where the vinegar is thick, sweet, and gluten free. This recipe is adapted from a recipe in the New York Times by Mark Bittman. I have tweeked the recipe to my preference of more fig and less goat cheese in each bite.
- Half pint container of black figs
- 1 1/2 ounces of goat cheese
- 2 Tab. balsamic vinegar (see notes below)
Divide the goat cheese into pieces, rolling each piece into a round the size of a large blueberry. Set aside. This can be done a day ahead and stored on a sheet of parchment paper in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
Wash the figs and trim the stems. Cut the figs in half and then cut an X about ¼” deep and wide in the middle of each cut half. Place a round of goat cheese over the X and gently press so that the goat cheese is on top of the fig but embedded enough to not fall off when picked up.
Drizzle each fig+cheese portion with a small amount of balsamic vinegar just before serving.
Note 1: See gluten in unexpected places for notes on using vinegar when cooking gluten free. Please read the label of the balsamic vinegar to ensure it does not include caramel coloring.
Note 2: Quality balsamic vinegar enhances this dish; my favorite balsamic vinegar for this recipe is from Dash and Drizzle (all of their vinegar is gluten free); the Blackberry Ginger Balsamic and the White Pear Balsamic really enhance the fig and goat cheese. And if you are really big into having it look it’s very best, the white balsamic vinegar does create a more attractive platter, leaving more of the beauty of the cut fig exposed.