August 22, 2008

California Figs

Will my fig tree ever produce anything that looks even remotely as nice as these I saw at a farmer's market in San Francisco?

Or the ones shown in these brochures from the California Fig Advisory Board?

I can only hope.

Although I don't normally like to mess with the flavor of fresh, unadorned oysters on the half shell, this recipe sounds tempting and looks even better in the brochure photo.


Fig Mignonette
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar, or substitute red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. dry sherry vinegar
4 large shallots, finely minced
Juice and finely minced zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. coarsely cracked black peppercorns
1/4 cup finely chopped reconstituted California dried figs

Rock salt, for garnish
36 oysters, freshly shucked, on the half shell
4 lemons each cut into 6 wedges
Fresh dill, for garnish

For the mignonette, stir all of the ingredients together in a small bowl and let stand for 30 minutes or overnight.

Arrange rock salt on a platter or on small plates. Top the oysters with the mignonette, arrange on the platter with lemon wedges (or serve lemons in a bowl on the side) and garnish with pieces of dill.

Yield: 36 oysters with mignonette

I like oatmeal cookies and this recipe offers a nice variation:


1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1-1/2 tablespoons honey
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
2/3 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup dried California figs, stems removed and chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine honey, butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a mixing bowl and mix on low speed until well blended. Add egg and vanilla and mix well.

Sift together flour and baking soda. Add flour and baking soda, mixing just long enough to combine. Fold in rolled oats and chopped figs.

Wrap mixture with plastic wrap, roll into a log approximately 12 inches long, and refrigerate until firm. Once firm, cut into 12 equal pieces. Reduce heat to 325°F. Bake on a parchment-lined sheet for approximately 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Yields 1 dozen 3-inch cookies.

You can find more recipes on the California Fig Institute website. Or contact them like I did and ask them to send you some recipe brochures.

They also sent me a copy of another brochure, Fast & Fun Recipes featuring Fresh Figs (not dated, 6 pp.) which says that you you can freeze figs. I never thought about doing that before.


One cup of sugar to 5 cups of sliced or cut up figs give the best results. First chill figs to make them easy to peel (if you wish to peel them). Slice and mix with sugar thoroughly and then quick freeze. If you would rather use sugar syrup for freezing figs, use 1 quart water to 1 cup sugar in making syrup. Chill before pouring over figs. Leave 1 to 1-1/2-inch head space for fruits packed in syrup.


At 9:27 AM CDT, Blogger ~~louise~~ said...

You know Kathy for some reason, I never pay much attention to figs. I'm not quite sure why especially since we always had fig trees when I was growing up. These recipes sure do remind me not to neglect this amazing biblical fruit. Freezing figs, just never occurred to me either. Thanks for sharing...

At 10:14 PM CDT, Blogger Kathy said...

Louise - I don't think about them much either, probably because I rarely ever see them fresh. I did get some of the dried variety today so I can try the oatmeal cookie recipe.

At 12:56 AM CDT, Blogger Rochelle R. said...

When I had my day care center a neighbor had a fig tree and did nothing with the fruit. So we would pick them and we made many many jars of fig jam. We used a recipe with strawberry jello and it was very good. It looked and tasted alot like strawberry jam.

At 10:20 AM CDT, Blogger Kathy said...

Rochelle - That recipe sounds interesting, I'll have to look for it. I like fig preserves.

At 11:42 AM CDT, Blogger T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Californians are so lucky, especially when it comes to figs! I would eat those oysters in a second!

At 2:35 PM CDT, Blogger Kathy said...

T.W. - Yes, they are lucky--all those wonderfully fresh fruits and vegetables. But they have earthquakes!


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