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Ask a Foodie: Got Extra Figs?

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jean_victor_balin_toque1Q. My fig tree has produced a new crop of figs this fall, thanks to the rain, I guess. Any suggestion on what to do with them?

A. There are so many possibilities:

  • You could toss them in a salad with the likes of goat cheese, walnuts, bacon and arugula.
  • Cut them in half, brush them with a little balsamic vinegar and grill them on skewers for an appetizer (don’t leave them on long, they grill quickly).
  • Stuff quarters of fresh fig into a pork loin before roasting.
  • Make fig jam (click here for recipe).
  • Use figs on top of a pizza with Kalamata¬† olives.

Or you could make the following recipe:

Fresh Fig Quesadillas

Use Spanish Manchego, aged cheddar, Monterey Jack or any cheese that melts well.

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Four (9-inch) flour tortillas
2 cups (about 8 ounces) coarsely shredded cheese
1 cup trimmed and diced figs (about 8 ounces or 6 large figs)
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush a large baking sheet with the olive oil.

Place the tortillas on the baking sheet. Spread 1/4 cup of the cheese on the bottom half of each tortilla. Add a layer of figs, using 1/2 cup for each tortilla. Sprinkle each with about 1/2 tablespoon of the red onion and 1/2 tablespoon of the cilantro, and top with 1/4 cup of the remaining cheese. Fold the tortillas over to make half-circles; press down lightly.

Bake until the tortillas are golden brown on the bottom, about 8 minutes. Using a wide spatula, turn the tortillas over; bake until the bottoms are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Then transfer the quesadillas to a cutting board and use a knife or scissors to cut each one into 4 wedges. Serve warm.

Makes 4 servings.

From “Fig Heaven” by Marie Simmons

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2 Responses to “Ask a Foodie: Got Extra Figs?”

  1. Nico says:

    Thanks for the tips. What about frozen figs? I have a jar full in the freezer from the summer and I’m wondering if I’ve ruined them or if these recipes will work on defrosted figs.

    • John Griffin says:

      It depends on how watery they are when you thaw them. They can be used in jam or a tart. Or you could poach them, since the liquid won’t be a factor.

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