Put the cheese and figs together on plates, trickle the honey over both, and dust lightly with freshly grated, ground or crushed spice. Quantities can simply be multiplied if more servings are required.
You can replace the soft goat’s cheese, if you like, with a thick wedge of ricotta, for example. And if you plan in advance, poach the semi-dried figs in red wine, then boil down the juices and sweeten with honey. Alternatively poach them in orange or apple juice, or herb tea.
Or simply serve the figs with a dollop of creme fraiche, mascarpone or Greek yoghurt, topped with toasted flaked almonds or pine nuts. Maple syrup or dulce de leche (caramel spread), instead of honey, can be trickled over whatever you choose. And for an amazing sauce to pour over vanilla, or other, ice cream, heat two or three tablespoons of clear honey in a saucepan, remove from the heat and stir in a broken-up bar of 70 per cent chocolate. Use when the chocolate has melted and mingled with the honey.
© 2000 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.