Figs have become a fascination with me. While l I don’t recall ever having them as a kid, my husband, who grew up in Southern CA, will get them when they are in season. I remember as a kid having Fig Newton bars and then during the years when I bicycled a lot, I’d get the whole wheat fig bars and have them for my quick energy snack. But as a raw fruit, it’s a little bit new to me. It’s not un-common to have a fig tree here in Southern CA. So might as well figure out what to do with them I suppose.
I’ve come to realize that the fig is an ancient fruit, many believed forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. According to the California Fig Association, figs are an incredible versatile dish that can be made into chutney, jams, jellies, spreads, salsa, baking, appetizers or just slice ‘em and dice ‘em. I guess I had no idea they went much beyond fig newtons… ha! Got to love sometimes living a sheltered life on a farm. You eat what you grow and we did not grow figs. We didn’t buy much food from the store and Fig Newton were one of the things we did get store-bought.
I found several recipes that interest me while these magically little fruits are in season, some of my favorites are the ones that blend salty taste with the sweet such as prosciutto or bacon wrapped figs, another is in an Arugula Salad with a vinaigrette dressing. Cheeses I found have a nice flavor with Figs. I love cheese and it seems you can eat them cold with an appetizer plate of variety of cheese or melted and slightly baked with the figs and served hot.
A fruit and cheese platter with some herbs would pair well with white wines, but then I enjoy a light refreshing white wine in the summertime.
Some red wines are good choices such as zinfandel for these bold flavor combinations of blue cheese or stronger flavored cheese and figs. I generally have a supply of Raincoast Crisp crackers on hand and one of the flavors even has fig in it.
Another thing I learned, is figs just don’t last long. So what ever you plan to do with them, better have all your ingredients and be ready to whip it up cause you only have a couple of days tops and that seems to be a stretch from what I’ve found, maybe I’m just busy and time slips away but seriously, I need to get a platter ready to serve for a nice sunset.
This is just a short little teaser for things to come with figs while they are in supply here in Southern California, I will be trying a couple of recipes … here is one that sounds like I will try soon:
- 4 to 6 regular smoked bacon slices (2 1/4 to 3 1/2 ounces uncooked)
- 12 small fresh ripe figs, such as white or Calimyrna, halved lengthwise
- About 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) crumbled mild herbed goat cheese