Every day of the year is apparently some sort of national food holiday. A site called Foodimentary even lists all the holidays out so you don’t miss any. Figs are special enough to merit a full week, not just a day. Unfortunately, National Fig week isn’t until November 1-7 and fig season in the South is in July and August.
I am celebrating my personal fig week now when figs are local and plentiful! Next year, I hope the two tiny little fig trees I planted this year will grow enough to offer up a handful of figs for the occasion. Before then, I will also try some of the great ideas in a single-subject cookbook I have about figs called Fig Heaven by Marie Simmons.
At the height of fig season, I enjoy figs by the handful or quick pickle them like I do for my Quick Pickled Fresh Fig and Onion Salad with Arugula & Parmesan. Once I get over my first of the season raw fig fix, or when figs are not quite as seasonal, I often grill or roast them.
The trick of cooking fresh figs for flavor is not intuitive because figs are already so sweet and yummy raw. Yet by simply heating them the sugar in the fruit is intensified – which actually enhances their figgy essence. Adding a splash of balsamic vinegar or pomegranate molasses before roasting or after grilling makes the figs salad, sandwich, or even side dish ready.
The following directions are not as much a recipe as a method to cook figs over heat. Small figs can be cooked whole and larger varieties can be cut in half before cooking. To grill or roast figs, coat lightly in extra virgin olive oil then sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper before proceeding as follows:
- Place figs on sheet pan and roast in 400 degree, oven skin side up, until soft and juicy. Optional: add a dash of balsamic vinegar or pomegranate molasses before or after roasting.
- Grill figs skin side down until center gets soft and juicy but figs maintain their shape. Remove carefully without letting the precious fig juice go down the grill. Optional: add a dash of balsamic vinegar or pomegranate molasses after grilling.
Enjoy…and you’re welcome 🙂