Figs, Always a Problem for Us...
- Funwithfood Jul 15, 2011 10:46 PM
My daughter (13) is intrigued with fresh figs. We buy them but she doesn't like how they taste raw (but likes fig jam). I know there are creative & delicious ways to prepare them and I always intend to make something fabulous, but they decline to a sad state before I get around to it.
What are your favorite preparations for fresh figs?
Broiled figs with melted butter are good. Sometimes I sautee some with shiitake mushrooms and make a sauce with a splash of sake and a bit of soy sauce, finished with cream, goes well with chicken.
Fresh figs, split open on the top, stuffed with brie and wrapped in proscuitto. Bake in then oven until brie is oozing out of the fig. Heaven :)
Last week I picked up 2 lb of them, but finished them off (raw) before I could actually use them. Guess I'm on the other side of the fence.
Anyway, things I meant to try with them:
Sliced in half for a salad with a berry vinaigrette and cheese
With some cheese for a free form ravioli
The sweet component to a braise (pork shoulder)
Halved and grill with a brushing of teriyaki
Part of an aioli for a turkey sandwich
Figs show up here only for a short time during the summer growing season and they are not cheap. But grilled or caramelized or fresh or wrapped with salty prosciutto, they are a revelation. Figs make gorgeous desserts, sides to grilled meats and even appetizers. They are amazing with creme fraise, brie, goat cheese or Gorgonzola cheese. Prosciutto was made with them (it's that sweet/salty thing).
I had my own recent exploration with them. Wound up making a fig jam for crostini.with creme fraise and prosciutto. If you are interested, more about it here. http://foodbeest.com/?p=2908
I just cut them in half, drizzle with a little honey, roast them, and serve with vanilla ice cream.
they are wonderful on a baguette with chicken liver pate (or foie gras!), spicy-sweet mustard and very thinly sliced red onion--with lots of fresh ground pepper. Oh yum.
what doesn't she like about them?
I know lots of people that just don't like the skins, so they just eat the "meat" out of the center leaving the skins.
Does she like sweet things or more savory things? Figs are so wonderful and you can do so many things with them that I'm sure there is a way to include them that she would love.
I make fresh fig ice cream and folksl just about faint from the goodness. I use a vanilla ice cream base and add chopped figs that have been lightly sauteed, then sprinkled with dry sherry. Also, check out the latest issue of Fine Cooking. There's a recipe for fig cobbler with a hazelnut shortbread toppiing that looks scrumptious. I'm making THAT tomorrow.
These recipes look good, I definitely want to try the fig and onion crisps:
Or how about a salad of arugula, figs, feta cheese, walnuts and a vinaigrette?
I added some to a cardamom tea bread recipe yesterday.
For breakfast, I had them with yogurt and granola. Tonight for desert with marscarpone cheese. Tomorrow, I am stuffing them with Camembert and wrapping in proscuitto then broiling.
You can wrap them in bacon and broil.
You could make a Fig & Pancetta Salad, with a mix of nice lettuce varieties.
A Fig Compote. Make a spiced sugar syrup using 1 part sugar to 2 parts water; add a cinnamon stick, orange zest, a vanilla bean, whole cloves, star anise, or cardamom--even black peppercorns can work here. Bring to a boil to dissolve all the sugar. Reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer. Add whole or halved figs and cook about five minutes. Remove figs, let the syrup cool, and return figs to syrup (if you'd like the figs to breakdown a bit and become one with the syrup, leave them in while the mixture cools. Serve alone, but it's amazing with ice cream.
Or maybe a Fig Coulis. Blend figs with a splash of balsamic or sherry vinegar and enough olive oil to make it pourable. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Heat gently and serve with pork, chicken, duck, or turkey.
Make a Fig Crostini with finely chopped figs and toss with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and salt to taste. Let figs sit while you cut baguette slices and toast them. Serve toasts topped with the fig mixture and a grind or two of freshly ground black pepper. You can spread a bit of fresh goat cheese on the toasts first, if you like.
Now my belly is growling. :)
I woke up with a craving for either crepes or pancakes with bananas and figs.
...off to the kitchen...
Here's what I did with what I had on hand.
Halved the fresh figs and placed them cut side down in saba. Meanwhile I made an infusion of saba, fresh rosemary and cracked pink, green & black peppercorns.
After a few hours I turned the figs over and spooned the rosemary/peppercorn saba infusion over the figs and roasted them at 425 degrees a few minutes, after which I topped each fig half with Gambazola and a small piece of (already cooked) Nueske applewood smoked bacon, then broiled them until sizzling. Deeelish!
(I'll try the other suggestions when I can plan ahead :))