As freeze threatened, Finn and I rushed to harvest all of the green tomatoes still hanging from the plants in our front yard and the last of the basil too. Jason spotted a fig tree full of fruit up the road at an empty house. We know the owner, (also the proprietor of a local winery) so J asked if he'd mind if we went at it.
Foraging fruit is a magical endeavor.
I wish the streets were lined with fruit trees. In San Diego you can find lemons, pomegranates and even avocados. Now that we live in the colder mountain climate we can't pick citrus or avocados but we have family and friends with apples, figs, pears, pomegranates, peaches, plums and raspberries.
Figs are food of the gods, for sure. I don't think I even knew about figs before moving to California 12 years ago and started working on small farms.
Our fig bounty called for a Mediterranean meal-- so this is what we did:
I made (recipes & details to follow):
Fig sesame jam
figs, goat cheese and rosemary on almond flour herb crackers
pesto, broccoli, red pepper and tomato pizza (with a grain free crust)
roasted tomato soup
1. Let's start with the amazing fig-sesame jam:
I followed this recipe from Gourmet at epicurious.com, but used 1/3-1/2 cup of raw honey instead of 1 1/4 cups of sugar.
I love to eat this with my friend John. We spread fig jam on a baguette with Humboldt Fog cheese (my absolute favorite cheese in the whole wide world). But I only had regular chevre on hand, John is in San Diego and we're not eating gluten-- so we had it on homemade herbed crackers from Elanaspantry.com. I seriously want a tub of this jam!
2. Another favorite of mine is grilled Rosemary fig skewers-- (but our grill isn't functioning and my oven was busy). It's kind of like this recipe but instead you skewer the figs on a stick of rosemary, slice the fig and stuff it with the goat cheese, drizzle with honey and olive oil and then grill. I'm telling you this stuff is indescribably delicious. Since we couldn't do the skewers, I just put all of that stuff on my cracker bread. It was good too--but didn't compare to the skewers.
3. Pesto pizza
I turned the last basil of the season into pesto, put some of it on the pizza and froze the rest in an ice cube tray. I'll put the little squares in a freezer bag so that I can use it this winter.
Here's the grain free pizza crust recipe I use (made with almond flour), but I vary with the spices. If you're dairy-free, sub the Parmesan cheese with 2 tbsp ground sesame seeds, 1 tbsp ground chia and some salt and spices (found this tip in the comments of the above recipe post). I love this crust.
4. Roasted tomato soup with broiled cheddar from Smitten Kitchen. Crazy good. I slow roasted the tomatoes instead of quick roasted them. It's like grilled cheese and tomato soup all in one. Perfect for a rainy day. It's so good that I forgot to take a photo of it until it was all gone.
How about you? Do you love figs? What are you eating as the weather turns cold?
All photos by Jason B Smith except for the empty cup of soup.