Over the centuries, figs have gained a reputation for not only being an ancient fruit but one with many holistic properties. Not only are they delicious, but they also have a significant amount of fiber, aid in lowering blood pressure due to high potassium, and are great for ligament health. They can also be effective in maintaining weight control, making them versatile for any food lifestyle.
They're also one of the few foods that have an incredible shelf life and can last months as long as they're kept wrapped in cool, dry places. Their antioxidant properties alone make them a great source of nutrition for breakfast or as a sweet snack, and they're most commonly found in Greece - where they're now grown in abundance. There, they're eaten commonly with a healthy breakfast and as appetizers. Their ancient origins date back to that of wine, as they also stood for peace and prosperity. And now, their uses in recipes are wide and varied - here are some of the best.
Use Them In A Salad
Figs are perfectly fine to be eaten raw, although most people know them in their dried form. Raw, they can be used as the star of any salad - but the best is when they're combined with other fresh ingredients. Try adding figs to a tomato salad with ribbons of thinly-sliced prosciutto and a balsamic glaze, for a salty-sweet, slightly acidic lunch.
They can become the centerpiece in a fresh burrata (or fresh mozzarella) salad as well.
Simply slice figs in half and lay around the cheese, drizzle with some honey for a sweet twist or olive oil, salt, and pepper for savory flavor, and enjoy. The soft, creamy cheese will pair perfectly with the subtle sweetness of the figs.
Roasted With Poultry Brings Out Sweetness
They're just about the easiest thing to prepare when it comes to roasting accompaniments. They require no peeling, seeding, or chopping - simply slice them in half (or leave whole for a rustic look), drop them in the pan, and roast!
This dish is best created with duck, but chicken can also be substituted for a less gamey flavor. Potatoes and herbs with a bit of stock can be added to the pan to make one of the most delicious pan sauces, which can then be reduced down after the poultry has finished cooking. The act of roasting the figs will bring out their sweetness and give a subtle hint of balance to the otherwise savory dish.
Eat Them On Toast Or An English Muffin
For true fig lovers, the less done to the figs, the better! Their flavor is beautiful on its own, and all they require is a slice of good bread to make them sing. With a smear of cream cheese or Irish butter, figs can be a great start to the day. This is also a good way to get in some B1 and B2, which figs are full of.
Try pairing them with some mild goat cheese, such as a chevre, for a bit of sweet and salty action. A drizzle of honey brings this simple breakfast or snack together, especially when figs are uber ripe.
Make Them Into Jam To Use In Cookies, Swirled Into Yogurt, Or As A Savory Sauce
This very easy recipe is a great way to preserve figs and to stretch their use. With only three ingredients, this jam is sweet, slightly tangy, and delicious on just about anything. It can easily be mixed into yogurt, cottage cheese, or even overnight oats for a healthy, sweet flavor.
Cooking with this jam is just as simple, and a little water, chicken or veggie stock can be used to thin it out to create a sauce. If canning is done properly, this jam will last up to one year in the pantry. If forgoing the canning process, it will last roughly one week in the fridge, and one month in the freezer.