Figs in a blanket of thyme honey might be the best thing you grill this summer. Three ingredients: figs, honey, thyme. Gilding the lily for sure. Figs are good enough on their own, but as with almost any fruit, a few minutes over high heat causes caramelization and highlights inherent deliciousness. Two of us made 50 or 60 of these in maybe half an hour for a birthday bash a few years ago, but under normal circumstances a few figs will do. When they’re in season, which they now are on the west coast and coming soon to Seattle, I make a few to munch on while veggies or chicken are grilling or for dessert with a nib of soft cheese.
Grilled Figs With Thyme Honey Recipe
A half dozen figs will serve 4 – 6 as an appetizer, or two halves each on the side with six salads. Double the recipe for 8 – 10 servings. Jerry Traunfeld suggests grilling slices of baguette along with the figs, spreading Gorgonzola on the warm toast and placing grilled figs on top.
Adapted from Jerry Traunfeld’s Grilled Figs With Thyme Honey & Gorgonzola Toasts, The Herbfarm Cookbook. I don’t use cookbooks a lot, but this one is the deal. Generally uncomplicated but delicious recipes. Recommended if you like using mostly local ingredients, especially fresh herbs.
Ingredients, enough for 8 -10: 6 3-inch sprigs of fresh thyme, 12 ripe figs cut in half, 1/3 C honey, 3 t olive oil, 3 t fresh thyme leaves and a grill.
Or, I suppose you could abandon the grill, cut a fresh fig in half, drizzle with thyme infused honey and have at it. I have to say though, the heat does something spectacular to the flavor and texture of the figs. These can also be cooked on a very hot stove top grill pan, or in a 400 degree oven (5 minutes, cut side down).
Once the thyme infused honey is ready, grilled figs can be quickly finished with the warm honey. A dollop of soft cheese is optional.
Directions: Bring honey to a simmer in a saucepan/ Add thyme and let stand for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, slice figs in half and, in a bowl, toss with olive oil and thyme leaves/ Place each half on a piping hot grill, cut side down first, for 1 – 2 minutes per side, or less. Keep an eye on them and remove before they become too soft/ Remove from grill and arrange on a platter/ Remove thyme from warm honey, and, using a spoon or a small pitcher, drizzle figs with honey/ Add a bit of soft cheese to still warm figs if you like (I used Mt. Townsend Cirrus)/ All gooey, sweet and earthy, an appetizer, dessert, or to knock a salad out of the ballpark.
While I was photographing these the other day my husband and I feasted, sticky fingered and ecstatic. They were so good. Dinner later, though very tasty, was anticlimactic. Wouldn’t this also work with peaches, nectarine, plums or a pear?
A sip of chilled Rosé or dry Riesling, a bite of grilled fruit, the promise of a fine summer evening in every bite. Happy Fourth of July. May your fireworks be of the heart and soul.