This appetizer/dessert was inspired by a recipe in Ina Garten’s most recent cookbook “Cooking for Jeffrey.” All of Ina’s cookbooks are great. I especially like this one because it’s a tribute to her husband, Jeffrey. They’re such a cute couple. I tried this recipe out on Eli, my husband, and it’s definitely a keeper, as is he. ;0)

Thanks to Ina & Jeffrey for the inspiration.

I know what you’re thinking…prunes? They’re not as sexy as figs, but prunes are definitely underrated. Not only are they sweet, they’re loaded with antioxidants and when they’re infused with port wine, it’s pretty magical. Add sharp blue cheese and nuts to the mix and it’s pretty fantastic.

Before you start making this recipe, pour yourself a small glass of Port and start sipping. Cheers!


12 pitted prunes

1/2 cup port wine

1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

3 cardamom pods

5 cloves

3 tbsp blue cheese

2 tbsp mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese)

12 toasted walnut halves

Place your prunes and Port in a sauce pan. I used a small sauce pan so that the Port covered the prunes half way. Add your spices to the pan. Bring the Port to a boil and then turn the heat down to low and let the prunes simmer in the Port and spices for 10 minutes. Turn the prunes over and let them simmer for 10 more minutes. Remove the prunes and cover them to keep them warm. The Port will have reduced to a nice thick glaze. Strain the liquid and drizzle the reduction onto your serving plate.

Mix the two cheeses together and then top the prunes first with the cheese mixture and then with the toasted walnut halves. I’m definitely going to add these to my next cheese platter. They are delicious.


Thanks to Ina & Jeffrey for the inspiration.
Thanks to Ina & Jeffrey for the inspiration.

Link to Cooking for Jeffrey: