Elegant and Flavorful Figs
Figs have been consumed since ancient times, appearing over and over again in the historical record. Though native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East, they have spread around the world and feature prominently in a number of traditional dishes as well as some new contemporary favorites.
Figs have recently experienced a revival, as more people have been made aware of the incredible health benefits of this ancient fruit. High in fiber and rich in numerous different minerals including calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, and iron, figs are an incredible source of several key nutrients for good health. Additionally, figs are a fantastic source of antioxidants, which makes them great for overall health.
Their high fiber content and relatively low calorie count makes them a great option for dieters in need of a healthy way to curb their appetites. However, anybody can enjoy dried figs as a snack for their rich, sweet flavor. They are simply unlike any other popular fruit, and it is this unique quality that makes them perfect for crafting one-of-a-kind dishes that are perfect for entertaining, whether you are putting together an intimate gathering for a few of your nearest and dearest or you are planning a big outdoor bash.
The flavor of figs makes them a great choice for sweet as well as savory dishes. If you don't have a lot of time to prepare appetizers for your guests, try topping freshly sliced bread with goat cheese, figs, and a drizzle of honey. This elegant treat takes only minutes to prepare and can make for a very impressive dish to offer your guests.
For a fresh way of serving figs, there is no better option than cooking them straight on the grill. To give it a try, slice fresh figs in half and grill them face down over a medium-low heat for approximately six minutes. Once they're ready, top them with a combination of sweet and savory flavors to bring out the best qualities of the fruit. Favorite combinations include a balsamic vinegar glaze with goat cheese and honey with a rich, creamy cheese like mascarpone.
Figs are also the perfect size for skewering. Try pairing them with lighter meats such as pork tenderloin or lamb, and be sure to prepare a lightly sweet glaze to bring out their rich flavor. A combination of honey and rosemary is often all that's needed to create elegant, delicious skewers that everyone is sure to enjoy.
Though they can make for some incredible savory hors d'oeuvres, they are also perfect for a range of sweet treats. There is nothing better than cold ice cream served outside on a warm spring evening. Top bowls of fresh vanilla ice cream with chopped figs and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup for a taste of old world elegance.
A little bit of sweet and a little bit of savory can go a long way when it comes to finding ways to serve figs. Pair figs with creamy, sharp cheeses, with light and smoky meats such as prosciutto, and with richly sweet flavors such as honey in any combination for an impressive dish that will inspire awe in your guests.