Don’t Forget the Figs!

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While we revel in the last days of summer before the daylight dwindles and the school stress soars, it’s hard to miss the plethora of peaches at the farmer’s market. And you wouldn’t want to miss them but while you eat your peach pie – Don’t Forget the Figs!

And if your idea of a fig is colored gray and drab by the image of a dry one that enjoyed the darkness of your pantry for far too long before it came near your mouth, then let’s repaint that image in your brain.

Fresh figs or fresh dried figs are not only full of flavor but they’re good for you too. High in fiber and anti-oxidants and fat free, naturally. Figs are really best picked fresh from the tree, as I was reminded by Amelia of a wonderful blog called ZTastyLife. Last Friday, she tweeted a picture of her first fig on her tree. I responded with a hearty congratulations and the image of what I imagined eating with that fig. From there we went back and forth with ideas of how to enjoy this frequently forgotten fruit, ending up with the following list:

@omgyummyblog: fresh ricotta and syrupy balsamic

@ZTastyLife: blue cheese and walnuts

@omgyummyblog: goat cheese and honey

@ZTastyLife: Port wine reduction and a sharp cheese

@omgyummyblog: prosciutto-wrapped & grilled

@ZTastyLife: figs preserved in grappa

Now that’s my kind of Twitter conversation!

L to R: Calimyrna figs, Kadota figs

Figs are in season now so grab a bunch in your produce section, farmers’ market, or your neighbor’s tree and give them a try.

For an appetizer Saturday night, I kept it super simple – just cut them in half and drizzled them with a few drops of a fabulous aged balsamic vinegar. That was all they needed. But if you grill them, they caramelize and just ooze with sweetness. At which point you can start thinking dessert:

Grilled figs on vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or perhaps Z Tasty Life’s idea of a port wine reduction.

Do you like to roast vegetables? (see this post if you don’t remember how) Next time you are at the store, look for a specialty balsamic vinegar called fig balsamic and use it to roast your vegetables or figs or to drizzle on your dessert.

If you’re still not sold, here’s a little more info from the California Fig Advisory Board on types of figs and their health benefits.

If you are already a fig-lover, please leave a comment with your favorite way to eat figs – the ideas in this post only scratch the surface…

And enjoy the last great days of summer.

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12 Responses to Don’t Forget the Figs!

  1. Sharon Vinick August 31, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

    I favor lamb kebabs with figs, cooked on the grill with the figs carmelizing. A great recipe at epicurious for a very light mint glaze to go on lamb before grilling. Yummy and on my list for this weekend.

    • omgyummy September 1, 2011 at 10:12 am #

      And I’m guessing you’ll be starting at the lazy river while you eat them. Sounds fantastic. I would think a moroccan kind of marinade might also go really well with lamb and fig kebabs. Enjoy!

  2. ana patricia August 30, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    Hello hello! Stopping by from SITS. We just picked a bunch of figs from our tree. I love all those really delicious and creative ways to eat them! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • omgyummy September 1, 2011 at 10:11 am #

      What is your favorite way to eat them – you must have some favorites since you have your own tree. How lucky!

  3. Serene August 30, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    Ohmigosh, total fig lover here, but as you can see, my favorite way is the simplest:

    • omgyummy September 1, 2011 at 10:10 am #

      Simple is often best, though I think I will have try Amelia’s idea of putting some in a crisp. And speaking from experience, even left plane, a quick sear on the grill brings out some fabulous sweetness. Good to hear from you fellow fig lover!

  4. Kate Abbott - Clifton Kitchen August 30, 2011 at 4:01 am #

    The fig trees in my garden are just starting to produce their new seasons leaves, fruit hopefully this year, will follow.

    • omgyummy September 1, 2011 at 10:09 am #

      Thanks for writing from your part of the world! Your seasons must be very different. Here’s hoping your get a big crop when the time comes!

  5. amelia from z tasty life August 29, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    Beth: Yes!!!! that is my kind of twitter conversation too 🙂 How fun: let’s do it again soon.

    P.s. I put figs in my delicious summer fruit crisp:

    • omgyummy August 29, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

      Very glad you shared that link – we love making crisps in our house but I’ve never tried it with figs. Can’t wait to make it! Looking forward to our next conversation.

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