Along with blueberries, dry grass, and hot days, figs are here! If you’re lucky to have a fig tree, you are trying to figure out ways to use them. If not, they are available at Farmers’ markets, or just look in a neighbors yard, as they are everywhere in Winston-Salem and across the South. As much as I love slicing them and enjoying them plain, I have a lot of figs ripening and wanted to share a couple of ideas you might enjoy, too. It’s always a race to see who gets the fig first- me, the ants, squirrels, or my chocolate lab who loves all things green- including my green peaches and tomatoes!
This first recipe is from the newest Lee Brothers Charleston Kitchen cookbook, (my cookbook of the week), and I love how they make use of local ingredients. This recipe for pickled figs sounds like the perfect summer side dish.
Butter Lettuce with Toasted Pecans and Pickled Figs
1/4 cup plus 1 tbls white vinegar freshly ground black pepper
kosher salt 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey 6 tbls mild olive oil
6 ounces fresh figs, quartered 2 heads butter, romaine or mixed lettuces
1/2 cup pecans 4 ounces blue cheese or goat cheese (optional)
1. Pour 3/4 cup of water, 1/4 cup of vinegar, and 1/4 tsp kosher salt into a bowl. Add honey and whisk until all is dissolved. Add figs to the bowl, let stand for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees
3. Spread pecans on a rimmed baking pan and toast for 15 minutes, until fragrant. Set aside to cool.
4. Strain the figs, reserving the figs and 2 tbls of the brine. Season figs with salt and pepper. Add the remaining tablespoon vinegar and Dijon mustard to the reserved brine, whisk together. Add the oil, pouring in a thin stream and whisking until dressing is emulsified.
5. Divide lettuces among six bowls or plates. Scatter some figs, pecan and cheese (if desired) over each portion, and drizzle with vinaigrette. Enjoy!
Warm Figs with Honey…a simple, perfect bite as an appetizer. Cut figs in half, place on baking sheet and warm in a 350 oven for about 5 minutes. Remove, drizzle with honey, and enjoy warm. Another option is to place a piece of blue cheese on figs before placing in oven.
More “figgy” ideas can be found on these sites listed below- have fun with your figs!