Friday, September 11, 2009
Fig season is still in full swing, and I brought home a beautiful basket of them from my CSA to prove it. The fresh fig is a bit of an oddball, and while it goes beautifully with certain ingredients (arugula, goat cheese, honey, to name a few), I was starting to run out of ideas of what to do with them. I love their flavor, but I don't particularly love eating them straight up. I need them to be an ingredient, not the whole dish.
I found this recipe in Heidi Swanson's beautiful book, Super Natural Cooking, and it seemed like the perfect solution. A jam that is not quite a sweet and not quite a savory, so it can be used in a variety of situations. Perfect for a cheese plate, in a sandwich, or just on toast, this is a sophisticated and delicious spread that you can use in all sorts of ways.
If you haven't experimented much with fresh figs, this might be a good entryway for you. I am already looking forward to using mine up.
adapted from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Cooking
makes about 2 cups
1 lb. fresh black mission figs, stemmed and diced
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1. Toss figs and lemon juice in a bowl, and stir in honey and black pepper. Let sit for 10 minutes. The mixture will get soupy.
2. Put the fig mixture into a heavy pot over medium heat and bring to a slow, gurgling boil. Cook, stirring frequently, until figs start to reduce and thicken, about 10 to 15 minutes. Mash them up gently with a potato masher if desired. Stir in sesame seeds and remove from heat.
3. Let sit 5 minutes, taste, and add more pepper if needed. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold. Will keep in the fridge for about one week.