Oh. My. Goodness. It’s the season for fresh figs (hooray!), and so far, it has NOT disappointed me.
You’ve had fresh figs before, right? (NO?! Stop what you’re doing and go eat one RIGHT NOW.) If you have- you haven’t lived until you’ve had them roasted, warm right out of the oven, with melty goat cheese with a sweet and tangy rosemary honey balsamic dressing spread over crostini.
Until only about a year ago, the closest I came to eating figs was from Fig Newton cookies. We’ve all had those and, don’t get me wrong, they are absolutely delicious. But fresh figs are an entirely different ball game. The texture is creamy and soft mixed with the crunch from the seeds, and the flavor is sweet, somewhat tart, and delicate. I was lucky to come across an entire display of different varieties of fresh figs at my local Central Market– four varieties of green and dark colored figs. The darker figs are sweeter and softer, and the greener figs are more tart and a bit firmer. Both are delicious, and both will work for this recipe.
A misconception I used to have about fresh figs was that I thought they needed to be cooked, and skinned, to eat them. This is not the case. You can eat the whole thing- skin and all- and should! The skin is no tougher than apple skin and is delicious. And you can certainly pop them in your mouth raw- or put them on an Apple and Prosciutto Sandwich with Goat Cheese (just sub out the apple for fig!).
You may have picked up on my obsession with the combination of figs and goat cheese. Figs + goat cheese is the most perfect pairing in the world. For an easy appetizer for a party (or for a night in with a glass or wine), serve goat cheese, fig jam, and crackers. Layer a cracker with the cheese and the jam and you will be in heaven.
One other important thing to note: not only are figs DELICIOUS, but they are extremely healthy for you. They’re an excellent source of dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamins B and A. And while I’ve never tried them, apparently fig leaves are edible and healthy as well! Who knew they had another purpose other than covering up depictions of Adam and Eve?
Also, I think I probably need to plant a fig tree or two in my yard….