4 Fabulous Fig Recipes: The Sweetest Fruit For Fall

4 Fabulous Fig Recipes: The Sweetest Fruit For Fall

As the oldest fruit recognized by man, figs not only have a vintage history, but they are also amazingly bursting with healthy attributes. The sweetest fruit is known to help lower high blood pressure, assist in weight management through their high-fiber content, and promote bone density with their calcium-rich properties. Their leaves even have antidiabetic properties that reduce the amount of insulin that low-insulin diabetics need to take. Topping off their qualities with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and vision-aiding lutein, figs are undoubtedly sweet.

 

1 – Mascarpone & Spiced Honey Figs

Arrange 8 small figs (halved lengthwise) on a plate. Using the back of a teaspoon, gently press the center of the fruit’s flesh, creating a small indentation. Add a dollop of softened mascarpone to the center of each fig half and set aside. Next, add 1/3 cup honey, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom, and 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice to a heat-proof bowl and place above a pan with simmering water. Cook over medium, whisking to blend until the honey is warm and liquefied. Drizzle the honey over each fig and garnish plates with 4 mint sprigs.

 

2 – Fig Wrapped Roasted Wild Salmon

Preheat the oven to 400 F and lightly oil a large casserole dish with olive oil. Wash 12 large fig leaves and place in the dish with the shiny side up, covering the entire bottom. Set 2.5 lb of wild-caught salmon fillet over the leaves. Grate a bit of lemon zest over the fish, then halve the lemon and squeeze half the juice over the salmon. Sprinkle with rock salt, fold the leaves up around the salmon, and place several more leaves over the top to hold in place. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the leaves and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until fragrant and the fish is plump.


 3 – Seared Fig and Hazelnut Salad

Whisk together 5 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon minced fresh shallots, and salt and black pepper to taste; set aside. Place ½ cup toasted hazelnuts (skins rubbed off, coarsely chopped) and 10 cups mixed baby greens in a large bowl; set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over high heat until oil is shimmering (just before the smoke point). Place 8 small figs (halved and face-down) in the pan and cook until golden brown. Toss the greens and hazelnuts with the dressing and salt and pepper. Plate greens on four plates, crumble gorgonzola atop, and place seared figs over to finish.

 

4 – Chicken, Fig, Barley Salad

Bring to a simmer in a medium pot: 6 cups water, 1 medium onion (quartered), 1 spice chile (halved and seeded), 1 bunch fresh lemon thyme, 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, 2 garlic cloves (crushed). Add 12 ounces of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and simmer until cooked through (about 8 minutes). Transfer the chicken to a plate and cool. Bring the poaching liquid to a boil, and cook until reduced to 3 ½ cups (about 10 minutes). Through a fine sieve, strain into a medium saucepan, pressing on the solids to extract all liquids; then, discard solids. Bring the liquid to a boil, add 1 cup pearl barley and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the barley tender (about 30-40 minutes). Transfer to a large bowl to cool. After shredding the chicken to bite-sized pieces, toss with barley, 4 thinly sliced scallions, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons coarse salt, and 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Finally, gently stir in 1 pound quartered fresh Black Mission figs.