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The first figs of the season have started to ripen on our heavily laden fig tree.  Yesterday, John pulled out the big ladder for me and I ascended, basket in hand, to select the best fruit for making one of our favorite appetizers for our weekend house guest.  This is the easiest thing in the world to make, but tastes delicious!

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There were only a handful of ripe ones within reach.  If I hadn’t picked them, the squirrels and blue jays would have.  They flock to our back yard during fig season.

To make the appetizer, I gently rinsed the figs.  Then, I lined a baking sheet with aluminum foil and split the figs right down the middle.

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I chose a high quality, organic, hand processed goat cheese for the stuffing.

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I removed a small amount of meat from the center of each fig and spooned on generous helpings of the cheese.

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Next, I added a little heat with some organic red pepper.

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I also sprinkled on some sea salt….but not much.

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Finally, I drizzled on some high quality, local honey and popped them into a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until the cheese was brown and bubbly.

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They came out of the oven hot and ready to go!

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I served them with some Carlton Cellers (silver medal winning) Roads End pinot noir and a baguette of outstanding gluten free bread from New Seasons.  This bread was made of millet and sorghum flours and tasted very rich and delicious with the figs.  The figs were quite soft and could be easily spread across the bread.

Such a simple appetizer to make…but wow!  What complex, delicious flavors!  John wants more tonight.  In fact, he is outside on the ladder trying to find more ripe figs as I type this!