Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Great Fig Giveaway

A while back I was contacted by the California Fig Advisory Board to see if I'd like some fresh & dried figs to cook with this summer*. I jumped at the chance especially since fresh figs are sometimes hard to find in the store here. Well, I never expected this kind of abundance!
Many dozen fresh figs
A flat each of the five varieties of fresh figs & 8 pounds of dried figs! Oh, what a treat!
8 pounds of dried figs
The first thing Matt did was start tasting each variety to see what the differences were in flavor.
Figs
From left to right:
Sierra: A newer hybrid fig. Wonderfully sweet, this one was our favorite for eating fresh.
Brown Turkey: We were familiar with these since they grow behind my parents house in Memphis. My dad likes to pick them in the morning & have them on his cereal. They also make a fantastic pink jam.
Kadota: This one had the most subtle flavor & was the least sweet of the bunch.
Black Mission: I think of these as the chefs fig. We liked them least for just eating fresh but I can't wait to turn them into sauce for duck.
Calimyrna: I loved the flavor of these, reminded me of a peach with a touch of pear.
Believe me there was a lot of snacking of figs going on yesterday on our house. They are so ripe it was hard to resist. Luckily, figs are good for you too, providing more fiber than any other fruit or vegetable.

Now, when face with this much fresh fruit my first thought it to make jam.
IMG_5391
I made three batches yesterday, Brown Turkey, Calimyrna & Sierra. I think figs make the most gorgeous jam, the jars looks like jewels. I used the same recipe for fig jam that I used last year. It is quick & seems pretty foul-proof. I flavored the Brown Turkey & Calimyrna jams with cinnamon & for the Sierra I used cardamon because I thought that slight citrus flavor would be a good match. Fig jam is great on toast, in oatmeal, on a turkey sandwich or as an appetizer with goat cheese.

The California Fig Advisory Board has offered to share one of these amazing fig packages with one of my readers. Leave a comment on this post & tell me what you do with this bounty of figs. Make sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win. Since we are dealing with fresh fruit here the winner for this contest can only be in the United States, sorry. I'll be announcing the winner the morning of Wednesday, August 25th.

Tomorrow I'll share a fig ice cream & an easy fig dessert on the grill.
Here's some of my other fig recipes to whet your appetite in the meantime...
or get some from the Fig Board

*Here's your disclaimer: The CA Fig Board sent me fresh & dried figs to use myself and a package of figs to giveaway to one of my readers. They did not pay me in any other way & I was under no obligation to write about the figs.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

81 comments:

Libby - coilwoman at yahoo dot com said...

I've never had a fig before, mostly because of them not being available in Minnesota. I would love to give them a try - starting September I will be living the grad student lifestyle, so I will have time to experiment and share the results with friends and family (as opposed to frantically cooking them up on evenings!). I'd like to try a grilled pizza with figs in particular.

carter @ the kitchenette said...

Wow that is a lot of figs!

I would definitely do jam, for sure, and then also eat some fresh, since it's freaking HARD to get fresh figs in CO even at this time of the year. I also have some fig tarts in mind...

Michelle said...

Oh goodness! Jam, sauces, a fig tart with goat cheese, snacking, and juat about anything else I can think of!

A Thought For Food said...

What wouldn't I do with these beautiful figs. Let's see... I'd make jam, I'd braise them and put them in a salad with goat cheese, I'd make a lovely fruit salad and top it with homemade granola.

Victoria K. said...

Fig heaven!! My favorite way to enjoy figs is slicing them into quarters, crumble blue cheese over them, drizzle with honey, and bake to warm them up and melt the blue cheese.... ooooh lordy! So good :)

Steph swilson@bazoomer.com said...

I have just this summer jumped into the world of canning. Those jams look wonderful. I'd certainly use figs to expand my canning repertoire. I am also very fortunate to have a one-year-old who is an adventurous eater. I'd love to let him try those beautiful fresh figs.

Janet said...

In one of my rare domestic moments (and yes, it was over ten years ago!) I picked a bunch of figs from a friends yard and made chutney. I used some chili to give some a kick and others were sweeter. They were delicious! Since the great NSA airport jam confiscation of 2010 I'm ready to tackle more jam! And I'd probably try some other fig storage recipes too. Plus it's my 50th bday next month which I'm still in shock over and it would be a nice way to start my sixth decade!

Carla said...

My goodness, with that many figs I'd probably die of sheer happiness. I have not been able to find them here in ND and my friend and I have been talking about them recently.

I would probably make a fig and goat cheese tart, some jam, eat some plain.. Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

Kelly Star said...

Wow. If I had that many figs, I would probably be like you and make jelly. I would also love a chance to experiment with figs in other dishes. I have never cooked with figs before. Actually, except for fig newtons, I have never really eaten figs! But I do have to admit that my mouth is watering at a turkey, goat cheese, and fig jelly sandwhich...

My email is starcutie83@yahoo.com

Tracy said...

First, I'd invite all of my friends and half the neighborhood over for grilled figs and prosciutto. Then I'd just play - jams, sauces, chutnies - and I'd save some to dip whole in chocolate...

What a fun giveaway!
wyoming.mad@gmail.com

Mom24 said...

I'd definitely make jam, but I'd also like to try a roasted fig appetizer.

Anne said...

Oh, I love figs so much! I have three recipes for fig appetizers that have been bookmarked on my computer for YEARS that I've been dying to try when I can get my hands on some good fresh figs. But I'd also love to make jam, too!

ktlee said...

Oh my goodness! Look at all those fabulous figs! I've been dying to make a fig tart and fig ice cream. I think I'd also have to make some jam! And I'd have to experiment with some savory preparations!

ktleehanson@gmail.com

Rebecca said...

There are SO many things that I could do with them, but first I would pair them with goat cheese in a crepe.

Karen said...

Mmmm - I just discovered figs this past year. I'd definitely make some jam and my kids LOVE dried figs in their granola!

Ronda Kisner said...

Mmmm...I love fresh figs. I do find them here in MN, but it can be hard. I would eat tons of them fresh, but I would make jam or chutney out of the rest.

Jacky Hackett said...

The fig jam looks fabulous, and I look forward to the fig ice cream recipe. Yummy!

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

Holy Batman, that's a lot of figs. I haven't had figs in forever! I think I'd grill the fresh ones just to pull out the natural sugars. The dried? I'd eat as a delicious delicious snack :)

Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) said...

That fig jam is absolutely stunning! How pretty.

I just recently got into figs. I love them on top of salads with goat cheese and toasted pecans. YUM! I'd have a fig tasting party with my friends.

SMITH BITES said...

Oh gosh - I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to win this giveaway! Fresh figs are divine - would make jam, top w/goat cheese, make pizza (which is to die for!), serve w/ricotta, honey & walnuts for breakfast . . . so much you can do with fresh figs!

Amanda said...

Mmm! Figs. I got some of the best Black Mission figs at the Fort Mason farmers' market here in San Francisco last week. Gobbled them right up! So I'd definitely eat a lot of them, but I also have a recipe for fig and goat cheese muffins I've been wanting to try, as well as the delicious looking fig recipes in the cookbook Rustic Fruit Desserts.

Lindsay said...

My husband and I would probably eat at least half of them fresh (yum!) and I would definitely make some jam too. I'd also like to try some another preserved product, something not so sweet, like maybe fig chutney. A fig sorbet could be interesting, too. And definitely figs with yogurt in the morning. lindsay_silber@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

I would definitely make jam. Some years I make jelly with different kinds of basil and the colors are wonderful - especially when you use purple basil. I even won blue ribbons for it at the Mn State Fair. I would serve the fig jam with goat cheese on a good baquette all winter and enjoy that tase of summer. Karen email:stuhlfeier@comcast.net

Lo said...

Oh, gosh. I love figs.

I'd eat them with yogurt & honey -- and stuffed with goat cheese... I'd stir a bit into butter to make a spread for bagels. And I'd use them as a complement to lamb burgers. I'd probably preserve some too. I've never done that before, never having had an abundance of fruit. But, it would be great to have on hand.

Cheryl said...

I'd do some baking, and eat lots of them raw with different cheeses.

Anonymous said...

I would make as much jam as I could and then save some to eat with cheese. I love fresh figs.

Rathmand@yahoo.com

Christiana Thomas said...

Jam, sauce for poultry, breakfast, maybe a galette? The possibilities are endless! Thanks for having this contest!

christianathomas(at)yahoo(dot)com

Claire Dawson said...

I would LOVE to have fresh figs for grilling, drizzling with Balsamic vinegar, and melting a hint of Roquefort over. With dried figs, making fig bars (sort of a homemade Fig Netwon) would be lovely, and also having in salad with pecans and roasted pears. Then there's fig tart, and roasted caramelized figs over pork, and figs brushed with honey, broiled, and served with ginger ice cream...

Now I'm just full of fig daydreams!

Iris said...

Wow, what a great giveaway! I've only had a fig once before, so I'm not sure what I would do with it. I would love to try my hand at making jam, or perhaps some sort of tart....

Lauren P said...

I miss figs since moving to Wisconsin! I would eat tons fresh, but spare some for a fig tart, figs with feta, and fresh fig ice cream.

Anonymous said...

For my birthday last year, I had figs with fresh ricotta and honey for breakfast. I had to use dried figs though because my birthday is in December! So first, I re-do my birthday breakfast using fresh figs. Then I'd get to work on the stash of fig recipes I've been waiting to try including 1)spinach sauteed with garlic, figs and honey, 2) black mission figs stuffed with blue cheese and lavendar honey, 3) fig tart with orange flower custard, 4) fig and lime jam, 5) sticky italian figs 6) fig salad with goat's milk yogurt and pepper cress and finally.... caramelized fresh figs with sweet cream. YUM!

lisamariemedin@yahoo.com

Topher said...

I'd make a fig tart or jam.

Thanks for the giveaway.

Chris

zekks at yahoo dot com

Awilixx said...

Mmm figs! I would eat quite a few as is, make some jam, make a pizza, eat some with cheese, make a fig balsamic vinaigrette, and maybe try to come up with a goat cheese cheesecake with a fig reduction. But mostly just eat a ton of them.

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

I would love to win this, but first a confession: I have never eaten a fresh fig before! I've had fig jam (and fig newtons, though that hardly counts), so the first reason I'd like to win is because I'd love to taste them fresh. I love to cook and am good at using up a bounty of fruit, so it would be fun to cook using a new ingredient! Plus, I hear they go well with goat cheese...Mmmm!

Kitty said...

i loveeeeee fruit. i would live off of it if it could sustain me.
figs always remind me of my neighbor who was a grandmother. she has a green thumb (one of my favorite trees to climb).

Jenny Sunshine said...

I too have never eaten a fresh fig (though I have thought about it and wondered how they would be...)So I would definitely enjoy them fresh with and without some creamy yogurt or goat cheese, borrow your recipe for jam and make some kind of fig bars...

grace said...

what a score! i'll tell you the most immediate thing i'd do if i won--taste my first fresh fig!

Kelly said...

We love figs! Fig jam, ice cream and the most favorite treat, figs with goat cheese and pecans! mmmm mmmm

Gretchen said...

I just had my first fig a couple of weeks ago. I was walking through the farmers market and someone was handing out samples. I was in heaven! I couldn't believe that a little fruit like that could be sooo sweet. I bought some and sliced them almost all the way through in quarters so it opened like a flower, put goat cheese in the middle, and drizzled with a peppered honey. Yum! If I had a lot of figs, I'd make that, try to make jam, and try out every recipe I could that included figs.

Megan said...

What a score! We use to have a fig tree when I was young and we would eat them right off the tree. I didn't know there was that many varietys. I would have to make some jam for sure! Then maybe a Caramel Fig Tart or Caramelized Onion, Fig, and Blue Cheese Strudel. Or just stuff them with some cheese.Oh how I would love to play with the all mighty fig!

Fresh Local and Best said...

You are so lucky to have received this shipment of figs, and to have been able to taste the variety! I adore figs stuffed with fresh rich goat cheese and thinly sliced prosciutto. I also adore caramelized figs to top salads.

Silvia M. said...

The figs look absolutely wonderful! In Portugal figs are abundant, but here they are expensive and hard to find. My grandparents had fig trees, so in the summer it was such a treat to just go and pick one off the tree. You are so lucky. :)

Anonymous said...

My favorite thing to do with fresh figs is to make up a variety of relishes and toppings and freeze them. I'll spend the day chopping onions and figs and whatever else I can think of and make 1 to 2 cup compotes with various spices and flavorings. Curry, red wine, etc. Freeze these in zip lock bags and pull out to top pork or spread on bruscetta, whatever you can come up with.

Ranee @ Arabian Knits said...

Aside from eating them fresh, we'd serve them with ricotta and our fresh honey from our bees, and make a tart or two. We love figs! I'd like to try my hand at fig jam as well.

Deborah said...

I have some friends who have stopped eating any sugar, except as it occurs naturally, and they LOVE figs (as do I). It would be great to share with them and create some sweet treats without sugar.

Paula said...

Lucky fig day to you. Put those lovely treats on pizza dough, drizzle with good olive oil. Yum.
holloway000@yahoo.com

Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer said...

Why have I never tried these before? I would love to make that fig jam...I love any jam so am sure I would liek this!

Lisa Paul said...

Send me your address and I'll send you a couple of bottles of verjus. Can't wait to see what you do with it.

Sarah said...

I've never had a fresh fig, but would love to try them. I guess I'd make jam and probably try something with goat cheese since that seems to be so recommended.

(BTW - I've never commented before - love your blog - started following it when I was trying to figure out what to do with garlic scapes from my CSA in June)

Foodycat said...

Holy snakes that is generous! Sadly I don't think there is an England fig advisory board.

Fig jam and gorgonzola makes a killer quesadilla filling. I'm just saying.

Tangled Noodle said...

What a treasure trove of figs! And the jams are total jewels! Honestly, I've never used figs in a dish before - never, not once, nada times - so I'm not sure where I would start. 8-)

Toni said...

Fig jam for sure! And I think a great fig tart...one savory and one sweet!

Mmmm!! The first time I had a fig was when it was basically falling off the tree in Tuscany. Delicious.

Anonymous said...

I like to use the dehydrator to dry the figs so they can be used all year. One of my favorite/easy recipes is to boil then in Riesling wine, with a little sugar added, and dried apricots. I would love to know the other types of figs. I use Brown Turkey. email jandmcar@bellsouth.net

Tricia said...

Yum! I saw your recipe on grilling them and made a similar recipe last weekend with grilled figs stuffed with a little goat cheese, wrapped in prosciutto, and then grilled on a cedar plank. Made an amazing first course!

s.e.e. said...

I would love to make fig ice cream...it's so HOT right now!!

Lori said...

Oh wow, this is my kind of blog giveaway - fresh food! What a great package you received and a wonderful fig lesson for me. I'm really coming around with figs and love them in jams, spreads and dessert pizzas. They are so uncommon here in KY. I actually saw them much more in Brazil.

We have a friend whose Lebanese mother lives with them. She's invited me over to teach me some recipes at some point and my mom was telling me about fig cookies she makes. I'd be trying those if I win! :)

Annie said...

my husband loves fruit! he'd eat as many as he could fresh and we'd dry the rest. or perhaps i'd make a little jam too.

Me! said...

Here's a sad statement so you should take pity on me. I have never eaten a fresh fig. I've had it in jam, a few desserts and Fig Newtons of course but never fresh.

Carol in Indian Springs Village said...

Oooh, great giveaway! Love fresh figs and they are a staple down here in the deep South. I would eat some, make some jam and probably share my bounty with fellow fig lovers. The jam would make great Christmas gifts!

Lori said...

Oh man ! What a treasure to behold!

I would make fig jam too (and the ice ccrream you just posted!)

Stephanie said...

I've never had a fresh fig before, but I hear they are far superior to the dried variety I get here in Indiana! I've looked into purchasing some at www.localharvest.org & having them shipped here, but they're always out of stock! I'd love to try them...

Fresh with assorted cheese & wines (we have fruit & wine parties at my house a lot!)
In Brie en Crout
As a topping for Panna Cotta with fresh, local honey
Bell Pepper & Fig puree sauce for Seared Duck Breast or Pork Loin
Drizzled with balsamic vinegar, paired with a hard cheese, wrapped in a slice of prosciutto & grilled until the cheese is just soft
Plum, fig, & red onion salsa
Stuffed with mascarpone & served fresh
On white pizza
In lavender jelly
On grilled cheese sandwiches
Fig apple pie
Fig Merlot Sauce
Sliced & pan fried in butter
Roasted with honey & reisling
In a cheese/brown sugar dumpling
"Drunken" Fig appetizers

...Oh, yeah, I have been *dying* to get my hands on some fresh figs! I think I might even smoke some of them & turn it into a smoked jam for holiday turkey & ham. This is canning season & I understand figs can be boiling-water canned (there's a recipe in my Ball's Blue Book). I'm sure I'd have to preserve some of them this way for a taste of summer in the snow!

Maria said...

I think I would make a fig crostini of some sort!

Liz Darner said...

Wow, what a special treat you received! I love to buy fresh figs at the co-op when in season. I bought some at the Hollywood Farmer's Market last fall - what a treat! I would love to try making fig jam. I think fresh figs would be good on a salad with nuts and some sort of soft cheese. Mmmm, maybe some sort of fig sauce on a pork chop? But mostly I think we'd just gobble them up. Yum, yum!!

Jo said...

Figs are some of my favorite fruits! I would definitely roast some of the fresh ones to serve as dessert. I am also a sucker for fig-and-blue-cheese pizza. And of course, I would eat a bunch of them fresh, because I can never seem to help myself!

Jen said...

I am sooooo jealous. We just moved here from N. California where we could walk down the street and pick Black Mission figs from our neighbor's tree. There is NOTHING like a fresh fig. There is a restaurant in Santa Rosa called Zazu that would stuff a fresh fig with gorganzola and wrap it in Black Pig bacon....can I say delicious? Enjoy your booty.

Lindsay said...

If I won, (and boy how I'd love to win!) I'd first probably indulge in a few straight away, then eat some stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto (yum!), and then make some jam with the rest. We're a bit fig-deprived here in Tennessee, and I would absolutely love to win this!

black-rider said...

I love fresh figs with honey and a little bit of balsamic vinegar!

tracylee said...

Oooooh, I love figs! Sliced and baked with a little goat cheese and honey, they're delish!

Jough said...

I'd surprise my wife with 'em, as she's been looking for them all summer...

Anonymous said...

I would love to share figs with my first grade classroom when we study the letter F. Plus my daughter and I would make fig jam.
teachercay@aol.com

Stacey Snacks said...

How did Mrs. Fig miss this post?
Your fig icecream looks to die for!
I LOVE FIGS.

Kate said...

I would do as you did and make some fig jam. Last year I made a bar that was similar to a Fig newton, so I would make some of those as well, and then I would borrow my MIL's dehydrator and dry all sorts of them so I can continue to enjoy them in the months ahead. I just adore figs!!!!

kate4797 at hotmail dot com

TreehuggingDoglover said...

Long time lurker, first time poster. I have never tried figs, but have always been amazingly curious about them. The colors are so beautiful and the fig-flavored things I've tried, I've loved. I would love to go on a fig bender and try ever fig recipe out there! Especially your fig jam. Gorgeous!

TreehuggingDoglover said...

Oops! Forgot my email address! Stacey.butler526 at gmail.com

Stephanie said...

Ooooo! It looks like I've forgotten to add my email, too! My mom is really hoping to get a taste of some of these figs. She might even try to buy me some just so I can post all those recipes on MY blog!

stephanie -at- snowbergers.com

Chris C said...

Hmmm...I think I would have to try my hand at jam, because those photos make it look drool-worthy. Otherwise, I'm not completely sure, since I've never had figs before. I've heard of a fig pizza that I might want to try too!

danunepthys(at)hotmail(dot)com

sheatinder said...

YEAH Free Figs...i have to say I like free things in general, but free figs...i am pumped...so pick me. Plus I think you are great.

Laura said...

Ooooohh! I'd make:
1. raspberry fig preserves with some of the fall raspberries that are appearing at the farmers market
2. grilled figs stuffed with cardamom spiced mascarpone
3. a blue cheese, bacon, sage and fig pizza on the grill
4. I'd also love to try making Robert Irvine's beef tenderloin with Costa Rican Coffee Balsamic Fig Glaze.

Gina M said...

I've seen more recipes with figs lately that look like they would be so yummy to make. Like other posters I think we would make jams and other yummy things. I also want to see what the difference between the different varieties are.

glm612 at hotmail dot com

Flour On My Face said...

I would make fig jam!

arlene9999@earthlink.net

City Girl said...

Oooooh - I would LOOOVE chance to make a batch of fig jam!!!! Yours look so beautiful! :-)

heather.mccarl@gmail.com

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