September 13, 2013

5 Things Friday: 5 Sweet and Savoury Fig Recipes to Try

I have a confession: I am intensely addicted to figs. My first taste came thanks to a lovely friend who took me to dinner, where we had foie gras with figs in reduced port wine. It was so good it melted in our mouths! Since then, I've been gathering fig recipes, and finally found some in my local supermarket. They were a bit pricey, but my craving was larger... Unfortunately Hong Kong imports most of their fruit and vegetables, hence the higher prices.

Look how pretty it is! Preparing my fig crostini :)

However, according to my dear friend Luca, figs can grow almost anywhere and shouldn't be expensive. Besides their versatility (eaten fresh, dried or made into jam/chutney), figs are among the richest plant sources of calcium and fibre. They also contain a lot of antioxidants. A small word of warning: figs have a mild laxative effect so don't gorge yourself on them, difficult as it may be while they taste so good! The skin is edible, but if you prefer not to, then you can skin it quickly with a sharp knife or peeler.

Here are 5 sweet and savoury fig recipes to try:

5. Fig crostini (savoury)
The easiest recipe ever, and it tastes so good. Simply chop fresh figs, toss with balsamic vinegar and black pepper with a pinch of salt, and spread on toast. You can spread some cheese if you like (apparently blue cheese or goat cheese are good combinations, but I'm not a fan of either). Pure and easy luxury.

Perfect for a chill afternoon spent writing and listening to good music.

Get the recipe here.

4. Maple-roasted figs (sweet and savoury)

Eeep I can't wait to try this with my remaining figs! Hardly the healthiest choice with all the maple syrup but this simple yet versatile recipe does both sweet and savoury. You can use them for topping pancakes, yogurt, or ice-cream, or serve them as part of a cheese platter. (via Hungry Mouse)

3. Prosciutto and cheese-wrapped figs (savoury)
Yet another simple, summery appetizer. Pair with burrata cheese or mozzarella... and perhaps some white wine or champagne! (via Chaos in the Kitchen)

For students, this is a bit of a luxury... Major shopping saving tip for Hong Kong students: shop after 9pm at your local supermarket - you get perishables at half-price discounts! To save up, my housemate and I used to shop at Taste after 9pm, and would come home with seriously-marked down food stuff. Be sure to check the condition of the food and their expiry dates though. Boyfriend and I bought a HKD20 Camembert (probably marked down by 60%) that smelled like ammonia upon opening :(. Sometimes, too good to be true is... indeed that.

2. Cardamom and brandy poached figs (sweet)

Another recipe I'd love to try... Cardamom is a spice you can find in the Indian tea masala chai, and might be an acquired taste for some. According to the source blog, in the Middle East, figs are poached lightly like this recipe and served with Turkish coffee after dinner. Can you imagine anything more divine? (via The View from Great Island)

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

1. Foie gras with fig and peach compote (savoury)
This will most likely be an indulgence. Foie gras production however is cruel and is banned in certain countries in the European Union, Turkey, and Israel because of the force-feeding process which stresses liver function and scarring of the esophagus in ducks or geese among others. La Pateria de Sousa in Spain aims to offer customers missing the delicacy ethical, sustainable foie gras where force-feeding is not practised.

You can substitute foie gras with mousse de canard, which is basically duck liver pâté. (Sounds icky reading it, but mousse de canard is so much cheaper and pretty heavenly on toast!) In Hong Kong, you can buy mousse de canard under the French brand Casino. (via The Passionate Cook)

And that's it! Which of the recipes would you be interested to try? Let me know in the comments below!

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