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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Figs

Figs


Figs have a honey and caramel flavor that goes good with aged cheeses, peppery lettuce or bittersweet chocolate.

Store the delicate fruits in the refrigerator and use within 2-3 days after purchase.

I love ripe figs, warm from the sun and plucked right off the tree and eaten. So sweet!


I've eaten a lot of fig preserves. My Grandma used to make them every year and even included a couple of jars of fig preserves in a box of canned things that she gave me for a wedding present. She had canned from her garden and we had green beens, fig preserves, etc. all winter after we got married.


But my favorite way to eat them has been just picking them from the fig tree when they are ripe and soft and sweet. The preserves are a little too sweet for me but the fresh fruit is jjjuuusssttt right!


Figs originated in northern Asia Minor. Spaniards brought the fig to America in 1520. The fig tree was mentioned prominently in The Bible. Cooked figs were used as sweeteners in lieu of sugar in historical times, and this usage still continues today in North Africa and the Middle East. High in potassium, iron, fiber and plant calcium, figs are also used for medicinal purposes as a diuretic and laxative. The fig tree can live as long as 100 years and grow to 100 feet tall, although domestic trees are kept pruned to a height of about 16 feet.


Take fresh figs and dip into white or dark chocolate. Lay them on a dessert plate and put a small dollop of whipped cream on top.


Take some fresh foccaccia bread and combine chopped figs with some olive oil, fresh rosemary and garlic, spread over the bread and bake till hot.


Chopped figs, Swiss cheese and bits of smoky bacon make an unforgettable quiche.


Chop fresh figs and fresh Rosemary together and use to stuff pork chops, chicken breasts or dumplings.


Stir a few finely chopped fresh figs into plain or vanilla yogurt. Add a bit of granola for a quick breakfast.


Brie-Stuffed Figs with Fresh Rosemary


Trim off stem tips of fresh Figs. Slice open one side of each fig. Stuff with a small piece of Brie or Camembert cheese and chopped fresh rosemary leaves. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Place cheese-side up in baking pan. Bake at 350° for 7 minutes or until hot.


Bacon-Wrapped Fruited Figs


Bake bacon at 400° for 10 minutes or until bacon is cooked but still flexible. Cut strips in half. Trim and cut open figs. Stuff with a small chunk of fresh peach, nectarine or mango. Wrap with half-slice bacon (may not entirely go around fig) and fasten with pick. Bake at 400° for 7 minutes or until hot.


South Beach Pasta Salad


8 ounces dried spinach rotini
1 pound ripe red and yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, stemmed and cut in half
1/2 red (Spanish) onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup cider or white wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
10 fresh figs, cut in flat slices
1/4 cup ripe olives, pitted and cut in half


Fill a large pot three-quarters full of water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain the pasta thoroughly. Cool and chill. In a large bowl, stir together the tomatoes, onion, vinegar, oil, thyme, parsley, pepper and cayenne. Serve immediately, or cover and store at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
To serve, combine the pasta and the tomato mixture. Stir and toss to combine.
Serves 6


Source: Californiafigs.com



Fig and Gorgonzola on Italian Bread Toast


1 cup fresh Figs
1/3 cup Gabbiano Chianti
1/4 cup orange juice
1 (2 X 4-inch) strip orange peel
2 small sprigs fresh rosemary
20 (2-inch) squares rustic Italian bread
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened


Remove stems from figs; cut each into 4 slices. Bring wine, orange juice, orange peel and rosemary to a boil in small saucepan; add fig slices. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed; set aside. Preheat oven to 450°F. Brush bread squares with olive oil and place on baking sheet. Bake 5 minutes or until lightly browned; let cool. Combine cheese and butter in small bowl. Spread mixture onto toasts and top with fig slices. Garnish with tiny rosemary sprigs, if desired.


Source: Valleyfig.com

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