Thursday, October 4, 2012

Figs Define the Season in our Garden

 Figs are as important as tomatoes, arugula, basil and spinach in our garden. We would be very disappointed gardeners if by September we were not harvesting beautiful ripe figs.
Granted this is New Hampshire and not Italy, but James and I have come to expect a fresh crop of figs in the late summer ever since our first taste of  figs picked off the tree in a garden in the Medieval  hill town of Barga, Tuscany  twenty years ago.

Eaten fresh off the tree one can best realize the true sweetness of a ripe fig, but a little time  in a saute pan over heat, with the addition of some butter can transform figs into a warm dessert when dressed with a drizzle of balsamic condimentoand for a cool contrast a small amount of gelato or ice cream.

 Cut the figs in half lengthwise. Heat a  heavy saute pan, add a little canola oil and about a tablespoon of butter, when the butter begins to sizzle add the fig halves cut side down into the hot pan. 
Over medium to medium low heat let the figs cook.....resist moving them for about 10 min.
Then turn the figs over and cook skin side down for about another 5-10 minutes. Drizzle a small mount of balsamico condimento over each fig. A very good balsamic vinegar can be used but the condimento is much better for this.
For added luxuriousness serve warm figs with  a small amount of gelato or  vanilla ice cream.

So just as apples, squash and pumpkins define the season in our garden and kitchen so do figs.

Balsamic Condimento is available at Formaggio Kitchen

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