Okay, is it just me, or is there a fig craze afoot? From fig vinegars and fig chutneys to fig spreads and fig jams, I seem to be encountering figs everywhere I turn. Just yesterday I noticed pint baskets of fresh figs at my local supermarket. And last month, while driving to the beach in North Carolina, I stopped at Morris Farm Market and what was the first thing I spotted? A gorgeous display of fresh figs!
I bought a quart and we enjoyed experimenting with them over the next few days…we tried them grilled on pizza, drizzled with olive oil and added to arugula salad, and we even invented a bittersweet chocolate & fig dessert sauce that we poured over vanilla ice cream. Today, I was walking along Canal Street in Chinatown and there among the dried lychees and live crabs were, yes, pints of fresh figs, at the very reasonable price of two for $3!
So, in the spirit of fig-mania, we present Cathy’s latest fig concoction. And if you have a favorite fig recipe, please share it!
Tortelloni with Sautéed Figs & Goat Cheese
makes 2 main dish servings or 4 appetizer servings
3 Tbs. butter
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
6 figs, quartered (I used Kadota figs)
2 Tbs. chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1 pkg. (9 oz) fresh portabello mushroom and cheese tortelloni (or your favorite
tortelloni or tortellini)
3 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
– In large skillet, heat butter over medium heat until lightly browned. Add onions; cook and stir until browned. Remove onions from skillet. To skillet, add figs, walnuts, salt and pepper; cook until figs just start to soften. Remove skillet from heat.
-Meanwhile, cook tortelloni according to package directions, draining and reserving 2 Tbs. pasta water.
– To skillet, add tortelloni, reserved pasta water, cooked onions, goat cheese and basil; cook over low heat just until cheese melts. Serve immediately.
FUN FIG FACTS
The most common figs grown in the United States come from California, and are generally available from mid-May thru mid-December. The four common varieties include:
Mission: deep purple skin (darkens to a rich black when dried) with pink flesh; sweet
Kadota: green skinned with amber flesh; practically seedless; slightly sweet
Calimyrna: golden skin with pink flesh; nutty flavor
Brown Turkey: brownish copper skin with pink/red flesh; mildly sweet
Use fresh figs within a day or so after buying them as they are very fragile!