Fresh figs are a transition fruit. Their sugary-sweet flesh represents the shift from the hot, beachy days of August to the sweater and closed-toe-shoe nights of fall, making it just slightly less painful. I think my favorite aspect of figs is their ability to be paired with both sweet and savory foods. Figs are at home in a jam or a duck salad (or with prosciutto or in ice cream or on top of a salad) — you get the picture. For the best results, pair figs with all types of cheese, particularly blue, mozzarella, goat or aged cheese like Parmesan.
Looking to grow your own? Fig trees can’t withstand the low temps of the Northeast, so they’re normally found in the South and on the West Coast. For those of us not lucky enough to enjoy the fruit of our own trees, beautiful figs can be found at some grocery stores and most farmers markets throughout the season. Get them while you can, before you have to take out your winter parka!
- Fig and Blue Cheese Flatbread (pictured above) with a little bit of prosciutto and caramelized onions will hit the spot. Use store-bought pizza dough to speed up the prep-to-eating process.
- Fig Preserves, people. Whether you’re picking these puppies right off the tree or from the farmers market, preserves make fantastic gifts that last all year long. Don’t forget to sterilize the jars properly.
- Taking the preserves one step further: Fig-Ruby Port Preserves.
- Frank’s Moustache Ride Cocktail is one of the tastiest ways to relax. Don’t have any fig simple syrup on hand? Reconstitute dried figs while making a simple syrup with water and sugar.
- Poussin Sotto Mattone utilizes the classic preparation of cooking under a brick, which helps all parts of the chicken to cook at the same temperature while flattening it out simultaneously. “Frenching” the wings of the poussin is easy; cut off the wingtip and place the chicken on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, push all of the skin and meat towards the drumstick and expose the bone. You know you’ve been frenching right if the end product looks like a chicken Popsicle.