February 02, 2011

Quinoa with Figs and Goat Cheese

Every year I wait eagerly for the fig season. I find this gorgeous fruit utterly fascinating, delicate and glamorous. It makes me happy just to see them appearing in stores and markets, and I instantly start thinking of recipes to use them for. There is no wrong way of enjoying this fruit: it's delicious on its own complexity, it pairs wonderfully with honey and nuts and it is the Queen of any cheese platter.

This simple dish doesn't ask for anything else but good ingredients - fresh figs are essential. I love the softness pared with quinoa and the crunchy pistachios, and the natural sweetness of the figs and raw honey. Rose petals are such an easy way to make any dish that little bit extra special.

Quinoa with Figs and Goat Cheese
(Serves 2)

1 cup quinoa
2 figs
50g goat cheese
2 tbsp raw honey
2 tbsp pistachios
rose petals, for serving

Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the figs in a small over proof dish and cut a cross section on top of each fruit. Gently open the fig and place the goat cheese into the cut. Drizzle with honey and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the goat cheese and the figs have softened.

While the figs are in the oven, rinse the quinoa and place in a saucepan. Cover with water, bring to boil and cook for about 10 minutes or until cooked through. Drain out any extra liquid, then spoon into small dishes.

Sprinkle the figs with chopped pistachios and spoon over any extra honey left on the dish. Place the figs on top of the quinoa and sprinkle with rose petals.