Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday Senspiration: Fresh Figs

Fresh figs, along with sushi, avocado, and onions, are among some of my favorite foods that I had no idea I liked until the last few years. Now I can't get enough of them.

I, of course, am enthralled by the sensory appeal of figs. They're smooth on the outside with a delicate edible skin, and on the inside they are incredibly soft and smooshy. You can cut a fig open and spread the inside onto toast, just like jam, no process necessary. The colors of figs are beautiful–from browns to soft greens to deep reddish plums, depending the variety. On the inside, figs are like jewels. Some sparkle like a bright ruby while other varieties are soft pink like rose quartz or even a pale orange like citrine. And then there's the taste— delciously sweet.

According to my 100 Best Health Foods book by Judith Wills, figs are quite the superfood. They are high in fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron. Thus they promote healthy hearts and bones and are an excellent source of natural energy.

Fig season is short, and I'm taking advantage of it. If you're in the St. Louis area, I recommend buying fresh figs from Ivan's Fig Farm at the Tower Grove or Schlafly Farmers Markets. Vendor Ivan Stoilov cultivates over a dozen varieties not native to this area in a custom-designed geo-solar greenhouse at his farm in Dittmer, Missouri. In order to celebrate this fleeting season, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite ways to eat figs.  

  • Goat cheese and pistachio figs—The simplest way I prepare figs is to butterfly them, stuff each piece with about half a teaspoon of goat cheese and two pistachios, and bake. It's dessert. To make it just a tad sweeter, I'll use goat cheese infused with honey.

  • Figgy flatbread—I always love a good flatbread. I like to start with a plain Flatout wrap and layer on thin slices of figs, brie, and caramelized onion. It's always an option to add some sort of nuts, bacon, or prosciutto.

  • Rosemary fig skewers—Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs, and I came across a savory fig recipe that uses rosemary braches as skewers! I would have never thought of that. It involves whipping up a quick marinade of olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, a dash of salt, minced garlic, and finely chopped rosemary. Pour it over a few figs, gently slide them onto the rosemary branches, and bake.

I hope that you can enjoy some fresh figs before they're gone for the season, and if you have some scrumptious recipes, please share!

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