Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fig Fest!

Figs are the final burst of the summer bounty and in my mind, the ultimate form of food porn. I have never seen such a voluptuous and indiscrete fruit as the fig. Soft and tender on the outside and easily bruised, left one day too long on the tree and it is ruined by its own weight or marauding birds. Their delicate nature force customers pay dearly for them at the farmers’ markets or to purvey them in processed forms of dried fruit, preserves and jams, or dried-out cookies. If one can manage to find them, figs are best in fresh form, to better enjoy all their sensuous goodness.

The first fig of the season must always be enjoyed raw, unadorned, and in all its natural glory. But as with the dealing with this easily perishable fruit, nature in all her irony turns all the figs ripe at once, so time is of the essence.  Here are some of my favorite recipes:

Fig Pizza

This has to be Hubby and my favorite pizza. Better yet, it is very easy to make with pre-made dough. We head to our local Little Italy in Downtown San Diego to purchase pre-made dough, either from Assenti's or Mona Lisa's. Allow the dough to rise for a couple of hours then roll out into 2 thin pizzas. Transfer dough to pizza stone and cook in oven for seven minutes at 500 degrees. After seven minutes, pull dough out of oven to add toppings. First, smear goat cheese (not feta!) over the dough, then add sliced figs. Transfer back to oven and bake for ten minutes at 500 degrees. Remove pizza from oven (final time) and sprinkle arugula greens and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar over the figs. Buon appetito!

Fig Jam

A friend recently brought fig jam to an Afternoon Tea I recently hosted and was kind enough to share the recipe she found in the New York Times Magazine. It is so simple yet so unbelievably good! The key, as with all simple recipes, is to use only the best ingredients. (I used figs, fresh squeezed lemon juice, sugar, and 2 sprigs of thyme.) Please keep in mind that this recipe does not preserve the fruit, but rather, will last up to a week in a refrigerator. Hubby was in heaven in eating this recipe with cheese on toast. I offered to teach him how to make the jam, but he demurred, “a wife should always have her secret recipe; so her husband remains in awe of her.”

Healthy Fig and Yogurt Breakfast

Place 4 ounces of non-fat, plain Greek yogurt in breakfast bowl. Drizzle a natural honey over yogurt (to taste). Slice one large fig and add slices to yogurt. Add a tablespoon of slivered almonds for some added crunch. Just a satisfying as a doughnut, but so much healthier!

Figs with Goat Cheese and Prosciutto

Cut fig in half, add a dollop of smooth goat cheese (not feta) to empty pit of fig, then wrap the half fig in a thin piece of prosciutto, covering the cheese. How easy is that?! Now you can surprise your friends and family as a true gourmand!

Enjoy the figs while they last, for the won't last long!

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