Monday, October 3, 2011

What to do with figs???

When I was a youngster, I used to visit my grandparent's cute little cottage in Orange, CA, where they had been living since the orange groves had been cleared for their neighborhood in the 1950s. My grandfather spent about 50 years in that backyard, growing everything he could - sunflowers, green beans, lemons, tomatoes, lettuces......  He even devised a crazy looking irrigation system using PVC pipes he drilled holes into:)

Here's granddad working on his next great plan for his garden irrigation system:)

Grandad built this arbor and filled it with plants from "slips" he'd get from neighbors.   You can see grandmom in the background, hanging clothes on the line - she and gdad were always being productive!

Out of everything he grew, however, the thing that sticks out in my memory the most are the figs he would harvest off an enormous tree in the backyard. My grandmother would cut them up and put them in my morning cereal and I thought they were the strangest fruit I had ever seen. They completely seemed like something that would grow on an alien planet to me and although I ate them to be polite, they did not become part of my diet apart from the occasional fig newton:)

My grandparents have passed on now, and lately I have thought of them every time I've seen figs at the grocery or farmer's market and on impulse I usually pick up a carton because of the warm nostalgia I feel when I see them.  Then I'd get them home and have NO idea what to do with them! At first I just ate them as is...pretty good, I must admit! The texture took a little time to get used to, but I like their mild honey-like sweetness, and they are simply gorgeous when cut:

I branched out a bit last night, and decided to cut some of my figs in half, pour a balsamic reduction over them, add some tiny shreds of spinach, and top with toasted almonds and season with salt and pepper. I added a tiny bit of goat cheese to some (I try not to have too much diary). Here's how they turned out:

They were SO yummy! They felt quite decadent, although they were quite healthy...some fat from the cheese and nuts, but relatively balanced and full of potassium and dietary fiber. I probably will substitute the spinach next time - it didn't jive quite as well as I was hoping. Any suggestions for an herb that would blend well?

1 comment:

  1. Love your new blog and l'm looking forward to reading about your cooking adventures!