Pick of the Week - 5 Ways to Use Figs
Figs were brought to California by the Spanish missionary fathers who first planted them at the San Diego Mission in 1759. Fig trees were then planted at each succeeding mission, going north through California. The Mission fig, California’s leading black fig, takes its name from this history. There are literally hundreds of fig varieties, but only about a half dozen are grown commercially in California. During a normal year, the season for the first crop of fresh Mission figs grown in the San Joaquin Valley begins in early to mid June and lasts approximately two weeks. The second crop of Mission figs, as well as other varieties, including Calimyrna and Kadota fig are available mid-July. Brown Turkey figs may be available as early as late-May through December.
5 Tasty Ways to Use Figs
- Cut in half lengthwise, brush with olive oil, and toss on the grill.
- Cut in half lengthwise, top with a bit of goat cheese and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or honey, and broil until goat cheese melts.
- Add chopped figs and chopped, cooked pancetta or bacon to a simple tossed green salad.
- Finely chop figs and toss, salt to taste. Let the figs sit while you cut baguette slices and toast them. Top the toasts with the fig mixture and a grind or two of freshly ground black pepper.
- Make a slit in the side of each fig. Stuff a bit of your favorite blue cheese into the fig. Serve as is or broil/grill for a few minutes.
Buying and Storing Fresh Figs Fresh figs are very perishable and should be kept refrigerated. The skin of figs is fragile, and often scars during the growing period from the leaves rubbing against the fruit. These marks do not hurt the flesh inside at all. Recommended storage temperature is 32-36º F. Use figs as soon as possible. Under ideal conditions, fresh figs will store for up to five to seven days, or frozen in a sealed bag for up to six months. Find out more about fresh figs from California Fresh Figs.