New to Me Food – Fresh Figs

Back in late August, while looking through the Farm Boy flyer, I saw fresh figs advertised for sale.  Figs are not familiar to me, but I was intrigued.  I decided to buy some.  Sadly, by the time I got to the store, there were only 2 containers left and the figs were really soft.  Even with my lack of familiarity with this fruit, really soft figs didn’t seem desirable. 

The following week, I was luckier (I went to the store in the morning, rather than late afternoon) and I found lots of figs, and some of the baskets had fruit that were firm.  So I decided it was time to try them.  I thought they would be a good ingredient to include in salads.  We eat a lot of salads here.

There are several varieties of figs.  The ones I bought were Black Mission figs. 

fresh figs

A pint of Black Mission Figs

They have a dark exterior and light pink flesh with lots of little seeds.  But don’t worry; you won’t be aware of the seeds when you eat the fruit. 

fresh figs

Black Mission figs have a light pink interior

 Once I got them home, I decided that grilling them would be a good idea.  Greg is allergic to most fresh fruit, but he can eat cooked fruits so I thought by grilling them, it would ensure that Greg could eat them without problem. 

Wow, did grilling them ever turn out to be a great choice!  The heat caramelized the sugar that is naturally present in the fruit, giving it a really wonderful flavour.  I sliced the figs in half lengthwise, brushed a bit of olive oil on the cut side and put them flesh side down on the grill.  After about 4-5 minutes on low heat, I turned them over and continued to grill for another 2-3 minutes.  Then I topped them with goat cheese and splashed a bit of light balsamic vinegar on them.  They were divine!  The rich sweetness of the fruit is balanced out by the tang of the goat cheese and the mellow acidity of the balsamic vinegar.  Fabulous!

grilled figs with goat cheese

These grilled figs with goat cheese may not be the prettiest thing I’ve ever grilled but they are incredibly tasty!

The figs were such a home run with me that I went looking for them again this morning.  I was successful and enjoyed some with my salad at lunch.  And I’m planning to roast some in a homemade caramel sauce for dessert tomorrow, thanks to a recipe I found in a magazine this morning.  Or maybe with some maple syrup and topped with whipped cream…  Yum!  I think roasted figs will make for a great dessert. 

Figs are a fruit that was completely unfamiliar to me, other than the concept of a Fig Newton (which I don’t like).  But something told me it would be worth trying out this fruit, and I’m so glad that I did. 

fresh figs

Fresh Black Mission figs

Fresh figs are really wonderful.  They are a sweet fruit that lend themselves to sweet or savory dishes.  The season for fresh figs is short (and right now), so if you want to try them, now is the time.  Choose figs that are somewhat firm to the touch and try to avoid the really soft ones.  Store them in the refrigerator.  Eat them quickly after purchasing as they are very perishable and won’t last long.

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