The French take their fruits and vegetables seriously so in each neighborhood you’ll find several “primeurs,” specialized stores that sell these products exclusively. I am crazy about these outposts and often go in and talk to the helpful sales people—“les vendeurs et les vendeuses.” If I want to serve fresh melon with mint, they’ll smell and touch a dozen before handing me the perfectly ripe one for my dinner that night. If I can’t decide between white and yellow peaches, they’ll give me the heads up, and when I say I need some basil for a food photo, they’ll offer me the prettiest bunch.
The other day at one of my local “primeurs,” the staff was abuzz about the figs. The first of the season had arrived and were “français,” not from some exotic land. I bought a small bagful and prepared them simply.
|The proud vendeur with his figs and apricots!|
I cut the gorgeous fruit in half, and topped each portion with scoops of creamy chèvre. Then I added a drizzle of honey and finally a sprinkle of fresh, snipped thyme. My husband and I savored every mouthful of this delectable dessert that took less than 10 minutes to assemble.
If you don’t have fresh figs on hand, try fresh unpeeled apricots. They work equally well. And, if you want to try another cheese, a creamy Gorgonzola is also delicious with either figs or apricots.
For 4 people
8 ripe, dark black figs or 8 ripe, medium apricots
4 to 5 ounces creamy chèvre or creamy Gorgonzola
Honey for drizzling
2 to 3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, plus 4 sprigs for garnish.
1. Halve the figs lengthwise. If using apricots, halve and remove the pits. Arrange 4 fig or apricot halves on each of 4 dessert plates. Mound a generous teaspoon or more of chèvre or Gorgonzola on top of each piece of fruit, then drizzle with a little honey. Sprinkle each serving with some thyme leaves and garnish each with a thyme sprig. Serves 4.