If you’ve ever tried a lusciously sweet fresh fig, you can understand why ancient cultures all over the world considered figs to be a sacred fruit.
Although figs can be eaten dried, I love fresh figs which are in season from June through September. All figs are incredibly healthy, and provide excellent sources of dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, manganese, and calcium. There are many varieties of figs which range dramatically in color and texture. My favorite type of fig is the Black Mission which has a blackish-purple skin and pink-colored flesh.
Figs can be enjoyed in many ways. You can eat them right out of your hand, or add them to oatmeal or any other whole grain breakfast porridge. You can also cut them into quarters and add them to salads, or poach them in juice or red wine to be served with desserts.
Here are 3 great recipes using figs…
Recipe from Valley Fig
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 box (10 oz.) couscous
1 1/2 cups (about 6 oz.) fresh figs, thinly sliced
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (you may substitute cloves, nutmeg, pinch of black pepper)
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
Combine 2 1/4 cups water, oil and salt in medium saucepan; bring to boil. Remove from heat; stir in couscous, figs, and spices. Cover; let stand until water is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and fluff with fork. Cool completely. Stir in nuts, green onions and basil.
RAW ALMOND FIG BALLS
Recipe From Hell Yeah It’s Vegan!
2 cups raw almonds
12 oz dried black mission figs, soaked for a few hours and de-stemmed
1/2 cup dried dark sweet cherries
1/3 cup coconut
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1-2 tablespoons agave nectar, optional
1. In a food processor, grind almonds into a coarse meal. Some bits and pieces should remain. Take care not to grind them too long; you don’t want to end up with almond butter.
2. Add figs and cherries and blend until mixture forms a ball.
3. Fold in coconut, sesame seeds, and agave.
4. Form the dough into 1″ balls and roll in a bowl of shredded coconut and sesame seeds.
If bars are more your thing, press the dough into a loaf or 8×8″ pan lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate until firm; slice as desired. For easy transportation, bars can be individually wrapped in plastic wrap; refrigerate in an airtight container to store.
SPRING MIX SALAD WITH FIGS AND POMEGRANATE CITRUS VINAIGRETTE
Recipe From Food 52
Serves 6 – 8
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons minced shallots
1/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
Pinches freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
8 ounces organic spring mix, (or any salad of your choice)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper (to sprinkle over salad)
4 figs, quartered
4 campari tomatoes, quartered
Handfuls walnuts (optional)
1. Mix the 2 vinegars, lemon juice, orange juice, olive oil, shallots, pomegranate seeds, pepper and salt together, until well combined.
2. Place your salad in a large shallow serving dish. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Scatter the figs, tomatoes and walnuts over the salad.
3. Check the vinaigrette for taste – you may need to add more lemon juice, salt and pepper according to your taste.
4. Give the vinaigrette a stir before dressing the salad, and dress immediately before serving.
Click here to learn how to de-seed a pomegranate.