Figs Marinated in a Merlot Syrup with Gorgonzola and Tapenade

Yield: enough for 8 – 10 guests

Figs season is relatively short. This is a great way to enjoy fresh figs during and after the season. The sweetness of the fig, the sharpness of the cheese and the saltiness of the tapenade compliment each other and the wine.

Since there are so many good commercial tapenades on the market, if you prefer, find one you like and purchase rather than make it yourself.

Set this up as a platter so your guests can put it together themselves. Serve it with thick slices of great hearty artisan bread and a good bottle of fruity extra virgin olive oil.

  • ¾ pound gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 ea bottle of good extra virgin olive oil
  • 24 each merlot marinated figs
  • 8 ounces black olive tapenade
  • 2 each loaves of great hearty artisan breads (pumpkin seed, or other flavor), thick slices

Figs Marinated in a Merlot Syrup

Yield: 24 figs

  • 1 bottle Merlot
  • 1 each cinnamon  stick
  • 1 each vanilla  bean (cut length wise)
  • 1 3/4 cup  granulated sugar
  • 24 each Mission figs, fresh

Place Merlot, cinnamon, vanilla bean and sugar in a stainless steel saucepan and simmer over medium to low heat until 50% reduced (approximately 25 minutes).  Tightly pack the figs in a jar (or two) and pour in hot syrup to cover completely. Let sit until cooled and then cover. Allow to marinate for at least two days before using.

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