Baked Figs with Balsamic Vinegar and Mascarpone Cheese

Baked figs drizzled with balsamic vinegar and topped with mascarpone cheese and almonds make a warm, decadent appetizer or dessert.
January/February 2012
http://www.motherearthliving.com/Cooking-Methods/baked-figs-mascarpone-cheese-zmoz12jfzmel.aspx
Baked balsamic figs are a delightfully delicious holiday treat.


Photo By Tim Nauman

Baked Figs with Balsamic Vinegar and Mascarpone Cheese

These baked figs are delicious when baked with balsamic vinegar and topped with delicious mascarpone cheese.

6 fresh, whole Turkish or Mission figs
1/4 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar (the older the vinegar, the sweeter it will be)
3/4 cup mascarpone cheese (see Note, below)
Handful mint leaves, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice each fig in half lengthwise and scoop out a tiny bit of the interior to make room for the cheese. (Go ahead and eat that part!)

2. Place figs cut-side-up in a small baking dish, and sprinkle almonds around them. Drizzle vinegar over figs and nuts, saving a little vinegar for garnish. Bake for 10 minutes.

3. Place a healthy dollop (roughly a tablespoon) of mascarpone cheese in each fig. Sprinkle with mint, drizzle with remaining vinegar and serve immediately. Serves 6 as an appetizer or dessert 

Note: Mascarpone cheese is very easy to make at home. Check out this recipe to make it yourself! 

To learn more about what foods are in season during the winter, see the article "The Winter Table: 3 Seasonal Recipes."