Saturday, August 16, 2008

Go FIGure

Mmmm... I think we are at the height of fig season because they are everywhere right now. I even found a new park this week that had HUGE fig trees with sticky fig residue everywhere. Too bad the branches were so high that I couldn't reach them. I also couldn't resist buying a couple baskets at the Farmer's Market this week. Here are a few ways I decided to use them:

Fresh Figs - With walnuts and Cambazola (creamy blue cheese). Simplicity at it's finest.

Oven-Dried Figs - This was kind of a mistake, but it turned out pretty good! I was going to pre-bake some figs to put on a pizza or tart. So I put them in the toaster oven at about 300 degrees......and TOTALLY forgot about them. Over 2 hours later, I got these dry sweet chewy morsels. A blessing in disguise!
I know, I know, that's a fire hazard waiting to happen. It's just that they didn't really emit an odor and I was completely engrossed in catching up with some housework and a little Olympics on the TIVO. If you are planning a hike in the hills, these would be a great natural sweet snack to bring along. It makes me think of trying to find a food dehydrater.

Fig & Ginger Chutney - Aside from a little chopping, chutneys are easy to make and they are so versatile. Serve it on grilled meat. Pour it over a wedge of brie with crackers. Make a crostini appetizer with some goat cheese and chutney. I love the sweet-sour-spicy combination!

1 pint figs, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 T. grated ginger

3 T. apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup minced onion

4 oz tomato sauce

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. lemon zest

1/8 tsp. cinnamon


Mix everything together in a non-reactive bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Transfer to sauce pan and simmer for about and hour, or until all the flavors have mellowed. Best to eat the next day.


Carolyn Jung said...

It always amazes me the number of people who say they hate fresh figs even if their only experience with figs is in a Newton. I think it's the same response people have to fresh beets because all they've had _ and ended up hating _ were canned ones. They think they know them, but they really haven't experienced their true flavor, their true texture, their true wonderfulness until they've had a fresh, ripe one. To paraphrase John Lennon, "Give figs a chance.''

Holler said...

I like all your suggestions for the figs, a lot! I am intrigued about drying them out like that, to talk on one of my walks.

Zoe Francois said...

Your chutney sounds delicious!

My Sweet & Saucy said...

Thanks for all the ideas for using figs! They all look delicious!

Pam said...

I have been scared to try figs... I don't know why? Your pictures and recipe make me want to go to the store and buy some! Thanks.

Tammy said...

Figs are one of those things I WISH I liked. So many yummy looking recipes with figs. But, I honestly don't like them.... and yes, I have tried them in variations other than fig newtons! :)

Kevin said...

All three uses for figs sound really good!

LouAnne said...

My favorite: figs with proscuitto - wrap a thin strip of prosciutto around a fresh fig half and drizzle with good balsamic or balsamic reduction.

Make it into a salad by simply chopping the prosciutto, quartering the figs, crumbles of blue cheese and the balsamic drizzle. Sweet and salty HEAVEN!!