Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Grilled figs and other decadent joys of late summer

My favorite fruit
I’ve been experimenting with stuffing and grilling one of my favorite fruits: figs. And I kicked myself today when I read Mark Bittman’s story in The New York Times about discovering stuffed figs. DOH. I knew I should have blogged about them earlier. But he’s onto something, you know? And right now in Portland, figs are plentiful and available, and even on sale at New Seasons. Two weeks ago I paid a ridiculous $6 for a small pint of figs from Whole Foods, and last month while in San Diego, I payed $1.69 for the pint but local and seasonal figs. So seeing them on sale at New Seasons this week signaled me they are fresh and available and local now, go for it. It’s time, people!
Figs and rosemary
You know the saying that everything tastes better wrapped in bacon? It’s not true with figs. I tried it. (prosciutto wrapped figs) But I have found the perfect way to stuff and grill figs, and now is the perfect time of season to do so, and you can do it with all locally grown items.

The secret combination is figs (duh), and a stuffing of chevre, honey and chopped rosemary. Sweet mother of god.
Honey....and rosemary and chevre
Cut a slit in the figs, and stuff them with the combination, and then grill them until they’re oozing.
Stuffed figs
Really, it’s one of the best things ever to eat of the summer. No, it is summer.
Grilled figs comin' atcha

8 comments:

soozieq said...

You are making my mouth water. I have never tried a fig, can you believe that?!?! Next time I come up to visit, can I have some of these? :-)

patti_cake said...

I have never eaten a fig either but I would definitely try one of yours. We used to have a fig tree in our yard

bemused said...

Does eating fig newtons count? Okay, that's not my only experience but I have to admit I've eaten few figs otherwise. Although I had a delicious appetizer once with a slice of crostini, a sharp cheese of some kind and a slice of fig - yummmmy!

So do you peel them before eating them or just pop them in the mouth as they are?

Do you know the story about their pollinators? You might not want to...

LeLo in NoPo said...

Soozieq-you live in fig central: you must try your local figs. They're delish.

Patticake-I can't beleive you used to have a fig in your yard and you never tried one.

Bemused-I do not know the story of their pollinators: bring it on!

Cher said...

Hot diggity damn, woman. I need to get me some of those!

(Seriously: It's been 9 months. We need to pick a date and hook up. I feel like a stalker!)

bemused said...

Okay, you asked for it. Hope you like eating bugs. Well, it's not nearly as bad as I'm implying but for those who are squeamish, don't read further.

Here's the short story: Fig flowers are outta sight (channeling my '60's flower child) but seriously, they are out of sight. They are inside the green fig fruits. A female wasp - called a fig wasp, of all things - squeezes through a pore, usually loosing her wings in the process, on a mission to lay one egg in each female flower ovary. It's exhausting work and she dies when she done. Inside the fig flower. Which is inside the fig. Get the picture?

Now before you make any eeewwwww noises (or am I too late?), you should know that the fig releases enzymes to break the wasp's body down.

When the eggs hatch, the larvae crawl out and the process begins all over again.

You can find out more about this by googling "fig pollination." btw, not all figs require this process, many are self-fertile.

Craig Tufts, National Wildlife Federation, told a group of us this story *after* he'd pass around a bag of fig newtons. Lots of people stopped eating and looked a big green.

I still eat fig newtons and figs, too, when they are offered. The wasp story does enter my mind but it doesn't prevent me from enjoying the fruits of the wasps' labor (hehehe, a pun!).

gen1pic said...

Hmmm. I didn't know about "chevre."

How does chevre compare to feta, which I do like?

I love figs and would like to learn more about cooking with them... so if you have more ideas, let us know.

Jacquelyn said...

You just combined a bunch of my favorite things and now I'm drooling on myself. I want!