(Okay, how many of you got the David Bowie reference??)
I love figs. I love fresh figs; the dehydrated variety leaves me cold, alas. I think this is because I am SO not a sweet-tooth, that the dehydrated figs just don’t work here in my tummy. Dehydration concentrates any predominant flavors in the food you are so treating, which means the only fruit I like dehydrating (and eating afterwards, balanced out in salads with a lot of vinegar in the dressing) turn out to be tart things like cranberries and strawberries. And tomatoes, which are technically fruits even if they get listed as vegetables. Your mileage probably differs. But I did add in thoughts for dehydrating these guys down below, if that’s your venue.
Anyhow, I just got some fresh (as in FRESH) figs from my local Whole Foods. I think there are two or three varieties of figs, but what I did for these should work for all varieties.
So, in honor, here are a few recipes for figs, vegetarian style (I’ll make an omnivorian post for these l’l guys, later on.)
1. Fresh Figs, by themselves. Just remove stem. Eat raw. A great snack! They taste pretty mild alone, maybe a slight bit too sweet (to me).
2. Salad with Figs and Plums. Remove stems, slice in half, and add to any salad you’d already be eating. My concept is to have plums (half these guys too, and remove the pit), add pitted olives, and surround with many salad greens, a few slices of hearts of palm, maybe some cuke slivers or bell pepper slivers, with an optional bit of feta or goat cheese. Top with your favorite home-made salad dressing, or go the simple route with one part EVOO to one part apple cider vinegar. Cilantro is a nice additive on top of this.
3. Figs with Yogurt. See below!
4. Figs with Egg. See below!
5. Figs in Portobello Cup. See below!
6. Dehydrated Fig (for salad, trail mix, or whatever). I seriously still don’t know why someone might want to dehydrate figs and concentrate up their sugar level, but people do. If you have a dehydrator, set the cooking temp at 135 F, or 57 C. Remove stems, slice the figs longitudinally into thirds, and lay them out. I’ve dehydrated strawberries and then headed off to work, and figs are a denser fruit, so I can safely say you can leave the figs un-attended while you go to work or whatever, and still have more time for them to dehydrate while you carry on with the rest of your life. (For the same reason I have no interest in dehydrating these, I also have no interest in turning them into jellies or jams or other forms of preserves. This info is only here as a public service for those inquiring minds who wanna know. And if you do it in your oven at the lowest setting, you’ll want to stick around and watch ’em. In a dehydrator, you have the leeway an oven will not provide.)
SOME ACTUAL TRUE LIFE FIG RECIPES!!!
3: Figs with Yogurt:
My favorite yogurt these days is goat yogurt. I get either the Trader Joe brand: or the Redwood Hill brand. I find Greek yogurt brands to be too “thick” to be of interest.
4: Figs with Egg:
I had this for breakfast along side the Portobello cup mentioned below.
1 large duck egg or two regular chicken eggs. (Duck is depicted.
1 or 2 figs, de-stemmed and sliced any way you like.
1/2 teaspoon avocado oil, or ghee, or butter. Duck fat would work but as I was making this for Meatless Monday; I used avo oil.
Optional: sautee a slice of chopped up onion in while cooking the fig.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Heat up your skillet with your cooking oil or fat of choice, medium. Add the fig and onion, stir around until onion is transluscent. Reduce heat to medium low and add your egg/s carefully — splattering them and rubberizing the whites does them (nor you) any favor. Cook however long as you like, but the whites should be, well, white. Since this was a duck egg, and the yolks on those babies are huge, I flipped it, waiting another minute of cooking time.
5: Figs in Portabella Cup:
Per large mushroom cap (one can assume one cap as a side; three caps as a meal per person):
1 large Portobello mushroom cap, stem removed.
2 figs, de-stemmed and sliced longitudinally into three slices
2 or three pitted olives, left whole if small, or sliced in half if large.
Half teaspoon, approximately, of extra virgin olive oil
OPTIONAL: a couple teaspoons of either feta or goat cheese, crumbled. Didn’t have so didn’t use, and this is exactly a fine recipe without.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Wipe down the portabella with the olive oil, using a paper towel or a pastry brush.
Assemble your toppings inside the mushroom. If using cheese, don’t add this yet.
Put in oven for 20 minutes.
If using the cheese, add it on top five minutes before the mushroom finishes cooking, OR add it as soon as you pull the mushroom out of the oven.
PS: there are some omnivorous suggestions for fresh figs in an upcoming post! Both worked out very well.
Oh, PS: this truly is an irritant, the correct spelling of the mushroom used in one of the recipes above: Portobello or Portabella… this link may or may not shed light or something on the matter. I went back in and edited this post to tweak both ways… Grrr. (The WordPress spell checker likes Portobello…)