Figs are my favorite summer fruit. I especially love eating figs in France and other Mediterranean countries, where they are picked and brought to market within days. As a child, I ate those fig-filled cookies and never realized how delicious the whole fruit tastes simply eaten raw or roasted with a touch of balsamic vinegar. There is nothing like the unique taste, texture, aroma and beauty of a fresh fig.
The best quality figs grow in Mediterranean and warm-temperate climates like California. California and European figs are available from early summer through early autumn.
There are a wide variety of figs with varying colors, textures and sizes. The most popular are:
Black Mission: blackish-purple skin and pink colored flesh
Kadota: green skin and purplish flesh
Calimyrna: greenish-yellow skin and amber flesh
Brown Turkey: purple skin and red flesh
Adriatic: the variety most often used to make fig bars, which has a light green skin and pink-tan flesh
Layne’s Simply Roasted Figs
- 12 fresh figs, cut in half
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar Nonstick cooking spray, olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line a baking sheet with foil and spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. Place halved figs on foil or directly on a medium-sized roasting pan. Evenly drizzle with vinegar.
Roast for 8 to 10 minutes or until bubbly on top. If you plan to serve figs as an accompaniment to poultry or lean meat, add a few sprigs of fresh rosemary to the roasting pan. Dried cranberries, toasted pistachios and slivered almonds are optional garnishes.
Figs are in season early summer and early fall, so enjoy them while they last!
In winter, when fresh figs are out of season, buy dried figs and soak them in water overnight in the fridge. Chop and serve on top of cereal, yogurt and salad or as an accompaniment to poultry, meat and fish.
Nutrition Facts per serving for 3 large figs (192 grams): 135 calories, 0 fat, 0 sodium, 36 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams dietary fiber, 3 grams protein.
THE AUTHOR: Layne Lieberman, RD