Figs are a fruit that don’t get the attention they deserve. They are full of fiber, calcium, potassium and iron; all of which are needed for a healthy balanced diet and these wholesome fruits contain no fat, sodium or cholesterol making them a smart choice for snacking or cooking. Figs have a sweet and somewhat earthy taste (reminds me of honey) with a texture that is unlike most other fruits. Their smooth skins, soft chewy insides and seeds provide a variety of textures. Dried figs retain the unique flavor of the fresh fruit while being available all year.
If you’d like to grab some fresh figs before they go out of season (mid – end of autumn) look for fruits that are unblemished and fragrant. They should be firm, but with a slight give when gently squeezed. If you buy unripe figs leave them uncovered at room temperature for several days. Ripe figs should be stored in a container in the refrigerator and loosely covered with plastic wrap for no more than 3 days. When you are ready to use them just wash, pat dry and cut the stems off. For most recipes you will keep the skin intact.
If you’re like me you probably have a hard time thinking of recipes that use figs. Figs are actually very versatile and can be used in lots of dishes like appetizers, side dishes, main courses, desserts and cocktails. Here are some of the great ways to use them this season.
Prosciutto-wrapped figs with blue cheese are a great sweet and savory appetizer.
Fig and onion bruschetta is also a tasty appetizer.
Baked figs compliment almost any main dish. Try it with duck, chicken, pork chops or steak.
Figs are wonderful in side salads. Try this pear and fig salad recipe with your next meal.
Figs add depths of flavor to sandwiches. This fig, goat cheese and caramelized onion sandwich sounds delicious. And my personal favorite fig sandwich comes from a restaurant called Le Pain Quotidien and uses ricotta cheese and figs to make a simple open-faced sandwich that is sweet and savory.
A sausage, fig and goat cheese pizza is also a unique and flavorful way to use this fruit.
Figs can also be used in pasta. A light-sauced pasta like this pancetta-fig recipe makes an original pasta dish that is sure to be a hit.
Try figs alongside your pork chops too. This recipe uses figs, cardamom and oranges to create a sweet and citrusy glaze that is delicious.
Due to their sweet flavor, figs are terrific in tarts, sticky buns, and these mouthwatering rum squares.
This fig and bourbon fizz is a great festive cocktail for this holiday season.
There are so many choices when it comes to fig recipes. Try some of these or find your own recipes. If you have any to share please add them to our comments section below.