Besides the forbidden fruit, the first mentioned fruit in The Bible is the fig. From Genesis to Revelation, figs — their leaves, fruit, trees and orchards — are mentioned 48 times.
The slightly rough skin protects the sweet, delicate interior that comes with a velvety texture. But their season is short and fresh figs are usually difficult to find in the grocery store. Unless you have a tree — or know someone who does — fresh figs are hard to come by.
They are so hard to find, they may have become the forbidden fruit of modern time.
But don't despair, fig season came a little late this year and are currently at their peak. If you can't find them fresh from a farmers market or a friendly neighbor with a tree, there are many fig products in the grocery store. Look for dried figs, fig preserves, fig bars, fig paste and fig cookies.
This ancient fruit is a seasonal indulgence that is always worth the wait.
Put them in a salad or a tart, on yogurt with almonds, on a cheese board, or even on a pizza. They can even be stuffed with goat cheese, wrapped with prosciutto and baked. Add a drizzle of honey for a decadent combination of flavor.
There are so many ways to enjoy figs.
Fig & Goat Cheese Galette
1 roll of pie dough (found in refrigerator section)
5 fresh figs, stems removed and quartered
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Splash of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup pine nuts
4 ounces of goat cheese crumbles
Pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
Toss the quartered figs with the honey and set aside until ready to fill the galette. In a pan over medium heat add the sliced onions and oil. Toss to coat completely and continue to cook slowly until soft and caramelized. Should take about 15 minutes. Add a splash of vinegar and stir to combine. Roll the pie crust out to 10 inches and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Scatter the onions over the center of the crust leaving a two inch border. Add the goat cheese, then the figs and pine nuts. Scatter over a pinch of salt. Begin folding the edges up over the filling and continue around clockwise while turning the pan. Brush the edges with the melted butter and a sprinkle of salt. Bake in a 375 degree oven until golden and bubbly for about 30 minutes.
Rum adds a festive flavor to the figs in these pretty cookie bars. Orange juice can be used for an equally delicious treat.
16-ounces Sun-Maid figs, stems trimmed, figs coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup rum or orange juice
2 tablespoons hot water
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 to 4 teaspoons rum or orange juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Combine figs, walnuts, sugar, rum (or orange juice) and hot water, set aside. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add egg and mix until creamy. Stir in flour and baking soda; blend in oats to make a soft dough. Reserve 1 cup dough. With floured fingertips, Press thin layer of remaining dough in bottom of prepared pan. Spread fig mixture evenly and pat firmly over dough. Crumble reserved dough by teaspoonfuls over top, allowing figs to show through. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan. Stir together powdered sugar and rum or orange juice. Drizzle over top; let stand until glaze is set. Cut into bars. Makes 36 bars.
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 pounds fresh firm-ripe figs, peeled and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons bottled (not fresh) lemon juice
5 tablespoons dry mustard powder
In a large saucepan, combine sugar, water and 1/4 cup wine; bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until syrup is clear and slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add figs and lemon juice, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until figs are translucent and mixture is thick, about 30 minutes. Remove syrup from heat.
In a small saucepan, whisk together remaining 1/4 cup wine and mustard. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add mustard mixture to syrup; whisk to combine. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Let cool to room temperature (about 1 hour). Refrigerate and use within 1 week.
Recipe from La Cucina Italiana Magazine