I stopped at a roadside fruit stand recently where there was an abundance of fresh California figs. Pick some up now while they are in season – here are three easy ideas for serving them.
I may have mentioned I used to hate fresh figs.
To me they were never going to work, never going to be any good.
They fell into a squishy category with papaya, under-cooked eggs and sponge-like mushrooms.
Just typing that makes me depressed.
My mind was changed forever with one perfect little bite.
One autumn evening years ago, I was chatting with a friend in a local bistro when the server offered us an amuse-bouche – a tiny slice of toasted bread with a bit of California fig, a crumble of Stilton cheese and dot of honey on top.
I ate it and was instantly converted.
It was powerful, and life-changing 🙂
These figs were not squishy – they were silky!
And paired with the cheese and honey, well. I wanted more.
They were a beautiful color, too, with a delicate floral flavor.
And they tasted of the season – Autumn – my favorite time of year.
I was in love.
But blink your eyes and they’ll be gone – though there are some terrific dried and preserved California fig options out there.
What follows are three favorite combinations: on toasted sourdough with cream cheese and honey, with vanilla yogurt and fresh thyme, and a simple plate of quartered figs with Parmesan cheese, honey and olive oil.
Every time I serve these, I get asked for the recipe.
These are super easy, and I bet will inspire your own figgy combinations.
- FRESH FIGS ON TOASTED BREAD
- Sourdough bread, cut 1/2 " thick
- Lemon olive oil (or regular extra virgin olive oil)
- Cream cheese
- Fresh California figs, about one fig per toast
- Flaky sea salt (Maldon is my favorite)
- Fresh thyme leaves
- Slice as many pieces of good quality sourdough you'd like in about 1/2 inch pieces. Brush or drizzle each slice with enough lemon olive oil to cover the top but not drench it. Place on a baking sheet and broil until toasted and light brown on the edges. Remove from oven and let cool for a couple of minutes.
- Stir some softened cream cheese in a small bowl with a butter knife or back of a spoon - you'll want a generous tablespoon or so for each slice (or slightly more depending on the size of your bread.)
- Smear the cream cheese mixture on each toast.
- Slice the figs about 1/4 thick, you'll need about 3-4 fig slices per toast.
- Place the figs on the toast that has been smeared with the cream cheese.
- In a small bowl combine equal parts lemon (or regular) olive oil and honey. Whisk together with a fork and drizzle over the top of each toast, about a 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture per toast.
- Top with a few sprigs of fresh thyme (lemon thyme is especially good) and a pinch (1/8 tsp) of flaky sea salt.
- FRESH FIGS AND YOGURT
- Plain or vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup
- 3 or 4 fresh California figs, ends removed, sliced in quarters
- Chopped pistachio's, about 1 tablespoon per serving
- Shaved Parmesan cheese, about 1 tablespoon per serving
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme
- Honey, 1 teaspoon (or more if you like it sweeter)
- Place yogurt in a bowl or plate and top with fresh figs,pistachio's, cheese, thyme and honey.
- FRESH FIGS, PARMESAN AND SALTED PISTACHIO
- Cut the ends off 2 or 3 fresh California figs and place them on a small plate or platter.
- Shave a couple of tablespoons Parmesan cheese, drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of honey, and garnish with a tablespoon of chopped salted pistachios.
Source: Studio Delicious
Note: California figs – fresh or dried – are a regular ingredient in my kitchen. This post isn’t sponsored, but there’s a recommended link in this post. All opinions shared are my own.