A festival of figs

September 26, 2007

The pickup: Bushels and bushels of figs, from the fig tree (fig variety unknown) that grows outside my house. Actually, most of them are eaten by birds, which is just fine since there’s no way I can pick them all.

Fabulous figs.

The results: In previous years, I ate mountains of fresh figs out of hand, mixed with yogurt and granola, or wrapped in ham or cheese. I also made jam, which (perhaps due to the low acidity of figs) never seemed to have much pep.

Then I adapted a recipe for plum chutney that I found at the back of an issue of Saveur magazine; the vinegar, mustard, and chile flakes in the fig chutney I cooked down in my stovetop cauldron lent a tart and spicy balance to the mellow sweetness of the figs. It’s good on, say, a turkey sandwich, and smooshy-perfect on a grilled sandwich of cheddar and, hopefully, a few leaves of mâche.

But we’re still eating fig chutney from last year, so last weekend my household plumped for a food dehydrator. Sure, we like dried fruit just fine, but the Big Plan is to make our own fig paste and, eventually, our own version of Fig Newtons. So far, the machine seems to work — but will we want to eat pounds and pounds of dried figs in the cold months to come?

There is 1 comment on this item
Add a comment
1. by Kim on Sep 27, 2007 at 2:23 PM PDT

Those figs look too pretty to eat. Of course, that doesn’t stop me . . .

Add a comment

Think before you type

Culinate welcomes comments that are on-topic, clean, and courteous. For the benefit of the community we reserve the right to delete comments that contain advertising, personal attacks, profanity, or which are thinly disguised attempts to promote another website.

Please enter your comment

Format: Bare URLs are automatically linked; use this style: [http://www.example.com "place text to be linked here"] for prettier links. You may specify *bold* or _italic_ text. No HTML please.

Please identify yourself

Not a member? Sign up!

Please prove that you’re not a computer

Dinner Guest

The gamification of cooking

Earning points

Most of the time with cooking and eating, the rules are clear.

Graze: Bites from the Site
First Person

The secret sharer

A father’s legacy

The Culinate Interview

Mollie Katzen

The vegetarian-cooking pioneer


Down South

Barbecue, tamales, cocktails, and more

Local Flavors

A winter romesco sauce

Good on everything

Editor’s Choice