Summer Figs – Get Them Fast

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Sweet, juicy, and crunchy, it’s hard to think of a fruit that compares to the goodness of a fresh fig. A fig’s unique flavor makes it a wonderful treat all on its own, but when added to a recipe, the results can be very tasty. Of course, let’s not forget the health benefits of figs: the low-calorie fruit is an excellent source of calcium, potassium, and fiber. Make the most of this in-season fruit by trying out one of our healthy fig recipes — breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert are all covered!

It can sometime be a challenge to find fresh fig fruits for sale, even at farmer’s markets and farm stands. This is mainly because figs do not store well and have a shelf life of only a few days at best. If you want fresh figs your best option is to plant a fig bush. But lucky for us, figs thrive in our region and are one of the easiest fruits to grow organically.

Summer Salad with Figs, Watermelon and Feta

Fruit:

2 cups cubed watermelon

1 cup cubed cantaloupe

3-4 fresh figs, sliced into fourths

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Fresh mint

 

Dressing:

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

Pinch of white pepper

Gently toss all fruit with vinaigrette. Serve in a bowl or platter and top with crumbled feta cheese and fresh chopped mint.

Fig and Blue Cheese Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed

1/2 cup dried figs, coarsely chopped (you can dry your own in a dehydrator and they are divine!)

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cooking spray

1 tablespoon apple jelly, melted

Preheat oven to 450°.

Slice the pork in half lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side. Open the halves, laying pork flat. Place pork between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle figs and blue cheese over pork, leaving a 1/2-inch margin around outside edges. Roll up the pork, jelly-roll fashion, starting with long side. Secure at 2-inch intervals with twine. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper, and place on a foil-lined jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 450° for 20 minutes. Brush jelly over the pork. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160° (slightly pink). Let stand for 10 minutes. Discard twine; cut pork into 12 (1-inch-thick) slices.

Serves 4, each serving contains: Calories 274, Fat 9.2 g, Protein 28.4 g, Carbohydrate 19.7 g,

Fiber 2.5 g, Cholesterol 80 mg, Sodium 581 mg.

Bacon Wrapped Figs

1 (4-oz.) goat cheese log, softened

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

6 large fresh figs

12 toasted pecan halves

12 ready-to-serve bacon slices (fully cooked)

Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together goat cheese and basil. Cut figs in half lengthwise. Place 1 heaping teaspoonful goat cheese mixture and 1 toasted pecan half on cut side of each fig half. Wrap 1 ready-to-serve bacon slice around each fig half, and secure with a wooden pick. Place figs on a wire rack in a 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan, and bake 6 to 8 minutes or until bacon is crisp and browned. Yields 12 appetizer servings.

Figs, Fruit and Nuts Plate

6 to 8 slices (1/4 inch thick) blue cheese
1 pint fresh figs, halved
1 cantaloupe, cut into 1-inch wedges
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
Best-quality local honey, for drizzling

Arrange cheese slices on a serving platter, and top with figs and melon wedges. Sprinkle with almonds, and drizzle with honey.

 

Chicken Fig Kabobs

1/2 cup white wine

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of crushed red chilies

1 large shallot, minced

Zest and juice of medium orange

1/4 cup chopped basil

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each cut into 6 strips

12 ripe figs, cut in half, lengthwise + 6 ripe figs, chopped

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoon brown sugar

Salt and pepper

Whisk the white wine, garlic cloves, olive oil, shallot, orange juice and zest and basil in a medium bowl. Add the cut up chicken strips and halved figs and marinate for 2 hours.

Simmer the chopped figs, balsamic and brown sugar until the mixture is very thick and syrupy, (about 15 minutes). Remove from the heat and let steep for 1 hour, then pour through a strainer. Discard the chopped figs.

Remove the chicken and halved figs from the marinade and discard the marinade. Thread the chicken and figs onto skewers. Salt and pepper each skewer.

Grill the skewers over medium heat or roast in a 350 degree oven and baste with the fig-balsamic until the chicken is cooked through (about 10-15 minutes). Serves 4-6.

 

Figs, Honey and Yogurt Smoothie

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 to 2 scoops of ice
4 fresh figs, stems removed and cut in half
1/2 banana
1 date, pitted
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Dash of cinnamon

Add almond milk, yogurt, ice, figs, and banana to a blender, and blend for about 20 to 30 seconds.

Add date, honey, lemon juice, and cinnamon, and blend again until fully combined. Serve immediately.

Serves 2 10-ounce servings or 1 20-ounce serving, for the 20-ounce serving the recipe contains: Calories 358, Fat 2.5 g, Carbohydrates 77.8 g, Fiber 8.2 g, Protein 12.6 g, Sugars 54 g.

Written By

Photo of Tammy Kelly, Ed. DTammy Kelly, Ed. DCounty Extension Director (252) 527-2191 tammy_kelly@ncsu.eduLenoir County, North Carolina
Posted on Aug 18, 2015
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