Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fig and Goat Cheese Squares

I've said before that figs are my one of my very favorite foods. Fresh ones send me to culinary nirvana, but they're only in available for a few short weeks every season. So, during the rest of the year, I made do with dried figs to get my fix. If I manage to block out my memory of late summer's juicy, succulent, sweet fresh figs, the dried variety are awfully tasty in their own right.

These fig bars are the perfect way to enjoy dried figs while you're waiting for fresh one's to come into season. Figs and creamy goat cheese (or blue cheese or Feta cheese, for that matter) are a perfect sweet and savory match. The cheese, along with chopped walnuts stirred into the pureed figs, makes these squares straddle the line between dessert and nutritious snack. Luckily, a buttery brown sugar base guarantees you won't confuse them with health food.

These squares were served at the food conference I attended just over a week ago. Besides the meals served by hotel catering staff, a nearly constant array of snacks were provided by organizations that sponsored the conference...like the Valley Fig Growers. I'm pretty good about only eating when I'm actually hungry, but when I saw these fig squares about 90 minutes after breakfast, I chowed down and loved every bite.

The recipe for Fig and Goat Cheese Squares is conveniently located on their website. I'm in no way affiliated with the Valley Fig association, but I personally think I should be, considering that I could eat figs 3 meals a day...I wonder if they're looking for a spokesperson:)

Here's more evidence of my fig fixation:

Perfection is a Fresh Fig. Essay and recipes on npr.org.
Quick Refrigerator Fig Jam
Fig Gelato. I used fresh, but dried figs soaked in juice or liquor would work too.
Herb-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Spiced Fig Compote


Jen said...

I agree that figs and quality cheese are paired perfection. The first time I had a roasted fig oozing blue cheese I was smitten with the combo.

Julie said...

Jen: I think roasted figs with blue cheese is my favorite...especially for dried figs. Try stuffing dates with blue cheese--it's awesome!

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