Thursday, August 4, 2011

In the kitchen with... Bouncing Baby Figs!

Growing up, I knew exactly three things about figs.

Their leaves were the height of fashion back in Adam and Eve's day.
Painting by Cranach the Elder (what a name!)

It was very hard to refrain from eating one whole plastic sleeve of fig newtons.

If a frog and a pig were to reproduce, they would have bouncing baby figs. 
As claimed by the wind-up robot show host version of Kermit, anyway. 
You can see robo-Kermit woo Piggy in this YouTube video.


Once I moved to California, I learned the real truth about figs, and that truth is: they are delicious.

It's currently fig season, which means that if you're in a warm climate like we enjoy in the southwest, you can probably find them at grocery stores in your area.  I've seen them at Trader Joe's and Super King in the last few weeks, and since I'm a fan, I picked up a box to enjoy and share with you.

Here are two of the green figs I bought recently.


When they're sliced open, I find them both beautiful and kind of repulsive.
Like how I imagine a cross-section of an alien's chest would look.


My favorite way to enjoy them is to cut one up into eight pieces, and build fig-cracker-snacks as a mid-afternoon treat.


My secret ingredient? Trader Joe's goat cheese medallions. Man, I can't get enough
of the single-portion servings that Trader Joe's have released recently. (And that's
exactly why I need single-serving portions... I can't get enough!)


My serving size is one fig, eight low-fat wheat crackers, 1/2 ounce of goat cheese.
(You can substitute light cream cheese if you don't like the tang of chevre.)
If you're feeling sweet, I bet a drizzle of honey would go well with it.


Figs are also available right now at... you guessed it... farmer's markets.  I guess that's my theme for the week.  Do you have a farmer's market near you?  What is it like?  What do they sell?  Have you gotten to know one of the farmers there?

OK! I'm off for the day, but I'll be back tomorrow with my Fashion Friday column.  I'm doing something that I have to muster my courage for... so I hope you'll come back and check it out.  And until then - take good care of yourself!


  1. I cannot think about figs without also thinking of Ken Russell's adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love. If you haven't seen it, the scene about the proper and vulgar ways to eat a fig is a classic.

  2. When I was a kid, there were 3 foods I hated more than anything else in the world, to the point that I refused to eat them, no matter how many times my mom served them to me. Those foods were zucchini in any form, tomatoes in any form (but especially stewed or cooked), and figs.

    I've long since revised my opinion on tomatoes (although I'm still not a big fan of stewed), and I'll force myself to consume zucchini on occasion (if it's deep fried, all the better!). But I cannot eat a fig.

    Now fig newtons, I have no problem with. But I almost think of them as 'not figs,' because they're all mashed up into a jam-like consistency and folded inside a delicious cookie. But whole fresh figs, while pretty to look at, I just cannot get down my throat. I wish I didn't have such a visceral reaction to things with that slightly 'slimy' texture, but that's just the way it is. And don't get me started on okra! Not being raised in the south, it was never something I was served as a kid, but I was introduced to it as an adult and after one bite, I knew instantly it wasn't going to make it down.

    ...Ah, well. I guess everybody has their 'things.' I love Brussels sprouts, which most other folks don't really get.

  3. Growing up, we always looked forward to this time of year because it meant that it was fig season! My dad LOVES figs. Seriously loves them. Like if you bring him a basket of Mission Figs, it's like you brought him a basket of gold coins.

    This recipe looks so simple and delicious! I think the zing of the chevre would be excellent against the sweetness of the fig.

    (They're also great by themselves, with just a drizzle of balsamic vinegar).

  4. These fig treats are amazing! So glad I was able to try and make some a few weeks ago :)

  5. Figs are great on the grill, just cut in 1/2 and lay flesh side down, touch of olive oil or PAM to avoid sticking and grill. They'll carmalize a little - very good with the goat cheese too.