Fresh figs are everywhere these days, in small pint baskets at the farm stands and in flats at stores like Citarella. Until this week, I'd never had a fresh fig. My only exposure to figs was as a child with Fig Newton cookies. Remember those dry flat tubes filled with fig paste? I seriously disliked those fig roles, and thus I've avoided figs my whole life until now.
As it happens, fresh figs are pure delight in a wonderfully complex little package. "They are lusciously sweet with a texture that combines the chewiness of their flesh, the smoothness of their skin, and the crunchiness of their seeds."¹
Figs grow on the Ficus tree (Ficus cardiac), which is a member of the Mulberry family and come in a wide variety of shapes and colors. Most figs are dried which produces a sweet and nutritious dried fruit that can be enjoyed throughout the year. But, when you find fresh figs in your market sometime between July and late fall, depending on your location, make sure to pick some up. They are wonderful eaten on their own, in a salad, or as an appetizer like these Roasted Figs & Prosciutto.
Roasted Figs & Prosciutto
20 large fresh figs
20 thin slices Italian prosciutto (about 8 ounces)
Good olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Snip the hard stems off the figs and cut figs in half lengthwise through the stem.
- With a small sharp knife, cut the prosciutto lengthwise into inch-wide strips.
- Wrap a strip of prosciutto around the center of each fig half, with the ends overlapping.
- Brush with olive oil and arrange cut side up on a sheet pan.
- Roast the figs for 10 minutes, until the prosciutto is a little crisp and the figs are warmed through. Serve warm.
¹whfoods.com, The World's Healthiest Foods
Thanks again to the Barefoot Contessa, How Easy Is That?