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Best use for "blah" dried figs?

Hi all. I'm a fan of the sweet, flavorful, chewy dried figs I've been getting at Sahadi's in Brooklyn, and thought I'd save some money by getting the cheaper dried mission figs at Trader Joe's. This was a mistake since they're relatively flavorless and lack the sweet fig punch most recipes make good use of.

So, I ask: what recipes will make these worth eating? I'm leaning towards a baked item of some sort, but with lemon, or cinnamon, or somesuch to make these worth it.

I've seen savory recipes for roast pork and such but I dont' cook a lot of meat, so if you have a good savory dish that's vegetarian, I'm all ears.

Or, honestly, should I just toss them? Thank you.

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  1. jfood has no iea whether this would work but he tatsed a great dish with figs the other night if you could reconstitute. It was a soanish tapas place and he ordered some chirozo with figs in a balsamic sauce. It was outstanding.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jfood

      That actually sounds delicious. I looked up a few recipes with figs and chorizo, and I could probably improvise based on that and your balsamic suggestion. I'm not a big cooker of meat, so I'm not sure I could do it justice, but it'll be on the list. Thanks!

    2. I've made the attached recipe for a Pesto, Fig and Mascarpone Torte with dried figs (that have been reconstituted) and it worked out well. Since the recipe also calls for fig preserves, any lack in flavor in your dried figs will be less noticeable.

      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      1. Cut a little slit - fill with gorgonzola dolce - refigerate, then bake at 400 as is or wrap with prosciutto - drizzle with balsamic glaze - very yummy

        1. This is a killer dessert--figs and dried cherries poached in vanilla-honey syrup with pistachios. Not sure if using mission figs will change it much. I have been eating with greek yogurt. Don't forget the nuts. It's so so so so good.

          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

          1 Reply
          1. re: abud

            Thank you, thank you, thank you....that sounds like I died and went to heaven. Even if it has nuts! You may have changed my life. Thank you - or did I say that already???

          2. These all sound like they can make my figs actually fantastic. Thanks, all! I think I'm going to try to bake half with goat cheese and use the other half to make the dried cherry-fig compote.

            I'm now actually excited to cook these. Thanks, again. :)

            2 Replies
            1. re: corgette

              We love the figs from TJ-s, and my favorite use for them is balsamic fig relish...So good.

              Dried figs chopped, in a pan juice up with balsamic vinegar (not enough to cover- enough to wet) smashed/chopped garlic- cook. Add thyme and red onion and cook a little more, healthy swig of O/O, salt and pepper, maybe a little red onion. Roasted chopped walnuts. YUM.

              1. re: JalamaMama

                yow! how do you use it other than on crackers?

            2. There's a recipe for greens and polenta with balsamic fig sauce in the Cafe Flora cookbook. We made it for Thanksgiving for my omnivore brother and sister-in-law. We've (well my husband does most of the work) also made homemade, gluten-free fig bars for the holidays for the past two years.

              1. sounds like you found ways to use them up, but if it ever happens again, i puree them and mix into muffin batter with cardamom, lemon zest, and sliced almonds. the flavor combination is fantastic.

                2 Replies
                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Oooh, I never thought to put them with cardamom. The lemon and almonds sounds great as well.

                  1. re: corgette

                    it's an amazing combination. everyone who tries the muffins flips out over them...and no one has ever been able to identify that secret ingredient - the cardamom :)

                2. I do this for a quick breakfast: soak the figs in really hot tap water (just enough to cover) for a few minutes; pinch off the stem; mash/chop them (I whir them for a few seconds in my mini cuisinart) and stir them into good Greek yogurt; a little honey or good quality maple syrup and you're set. My husband loves this.

                  1. Perhaps I'm taking a tangent... What else can you buy at Sahadi's? I'll be in brooklyn next week and might stop by because I love dried fruits, nuts, etc. Is Sahadi's worth going out of my way for?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: glutton

                      Check out the lebanese olive oils. They are excellent.

                      1. re: glutton

                        I think Sahadi's is worth a trip for, but I work close by, so I'm biased. If you don't have to lug everything home and can get car service, they have a decent selection of cheese for a good price, plus all sorts of flours.

                        What I load up on, though, are spices. They have the cheapest spices of everyone around.

                      2. All nice recipes, but you can't redeem bad ingredients, particularly things like figs, which are used in small quantities to give a strong character to a dish. Throw them out and get decent ones at Sahadi or Russ & Daughters. I got completely tasteless dried apricots from Kalustyans and spoiled an organic chicken I was really looking forward to.

                        glutton - at Sahadi, I particularly like kalamata olives, Bulgarian creamy feta and the pistachios that come in 3-pound bags to the right of the central area as you enter. The breads just before the cash registers are superior, especially the slim onion ficelles. The halava is amazing. The have a great price on BR Cohn olive oil, which is perfect for dipping slices of ficelle. The regular oil is better flavored than the higher priced organic.

                        1. You can poach them in sugar syrup that is infused with tea, crystallized ginger and orange/tangerine peel. Let cool to room temp before refrigerating in the poaching syrup - they keep for a long time and are a wonderful garnish. The best way to get the texture of fresh from dried figs.

                          1. Don't toss 'em. Tipsy 'em! Put the figs in a jar, cover them with with a mix of brandy and whatever else you like -- I go for rum, or grand marinier, or bourbon... etc. Some lemon or orange zest is also a nice touch. If you like them sweet, add some simple syrup as well. Let them sit in the fridge for a day or more. This is will turn even the blah-est dried figs into lovely accompaniments to a cheese course, or dessert item, or ice cream.

                            1. We've made fig fudge and added figs to our morning smoothies.