It’s fresh fig season and the California Fig Commission sent me some lovely figs to play with. Yes, I am gettin’ figgy wid it. I’ll have a post later this week on drying figs, plus a giveaway and easy dessert recipe on Friday. If you’re in Southern California, don’t miss the San Diego Fig Festival on Sunday September 8th, which is sponsored by the CA Fig Commission and Les Dames D’Escoffier, San Diego Chapter.
Figs are delicate little creatures, and the season tends to be short, which is why used to see only dried figs in the store. California produces 100% of the dried figs in the U.S. and 98% of the fresh figs. They have gotten better and picking and transporting them, but remember that they are tender and easily bruised and will need to be eaten right away if you buy them fresh.
We used to have a fig tree, and it seemed that they were only ripe for a day, so that’s why they are a bit more expensive than other fruits in the store. Fresh or dried, they are an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants, also provide some potassium and calcium. I love them for an afternoon-pick-me-up when I’m craving some sugar but don’t want to eat sugary snacks. A serving is 3-5 fresh or dried figs. They are delicious in smoothies, too.
The dressing recipe is adapted from I Am Grateful: Recipes and Lifestyle of Cafe Gratitude.
Strawberry-almond salad with balsamic fig dressing
Makes about 1-1/2 cups of dressing
5 fresh or dried Brown Turkey or Black Mission figs
1/4 C. (60 ml) balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. (60 ml) lemon-infused olive oil
1/4 C. (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
cracked black pepper
squeeze of fresh lemon juice, if you do not have lemon-infused olive oil
If using dried figs, soak them in filtered water for 2 hours. Reserve the soaking water.
Put the figs, vinegar, and oil in the blender and blend until smooth and creamy, starting on low and moving up to high speed. Add salt and pepper to taste. If needed, add a little of the soaking water to thin it to the proper pouring consistency.
For the salads I used butter lettuce, sliced strawberries, and raw organic almonds, plus a nice drizzle of dressing.
Required FTC disclosure: The figs were sent to me by the California Fig Commission. I was not paid to write this post.
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