I always love this time of year, there is an array of fresh and healthy fall produce available at the grocery stores and farmers' markets! Some of my favorite include apples, figs, pears, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and winter squash.
Pears are perfect in salads or for a tantalizing baked dessert. Pumpkins and squash make the perfect filling for raviolis and cannelloni dishes. For our holiday menu I've made a pumpkin cannelloni dish, Cannelloni di Zucca, with a bechamel sauce which I hope you come to try! It's perfumed with thyme, another fall herb favorite of mine. Using earthy herbs such as sage and rosemary are always perfect during this time of year as they bring warmth to any dish.
With all the holidays quickly approaching, I wanted to share a quick and easy party menu item using one of these fall necessities, FIGS! Here is my recipe for Port-Soaked Figs with Gorgonzola, Chives & Walnuts:
12 dried figs, cut in half
1/2 cup Port wine
1 tsp whole fennel seeds
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 lb Gorgonzola cheese
1 tbsp chopped chives
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
In a one-quart saucepan, place the figs, port, fennel seeds and black pepper and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, and cover with a lid. Let the figs plump in the port for 15 minutes. Then remove the figs from the saucepan, and lay them out on a tray to cool completely.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, place the Gorgonzola cheese and chives, and blend to smooth.
Remove the Gorgonzola from the bowl of the food processor to a work bowl and mix in the walnuts.
Place a small dollop of the cheese mixture in the center of each fig, refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm the cheese.
Serve cold. Makes 24-30 pieces.
This recipe is full of flavor and is a cinch to make! I hope you enjoy my Port-soaked Figs and that you serve it at one of your holiday get togethers this year! What are some of your favorite appetizers to share with guests?