Radically Delicious Figs: Two Recipes

9 Jun

Photo Credit: Judd Pilosoff

Fresh Figs in Nightgowns
On one of the hottest days of the year, in my air-conditionless pantry, my Nutella (chocolate-hazelnut spread) had become the consistency of molten chocolate. As it is quite sweet, I mixed it with yogurt, and one by one dipped a whole basket of fleshy purple figs into the mixture. I placed them in the refrigerator, whereupon the coating firmed up to make a very seductive dessert. My husband named them. Almost all of the fresh figs grown in the U.S. come from California.

12 large ripe purple fresh figs
1 cup Nutella
1-1/2 cups plain yogurt


Wash figs and pat dry. Set aside. Put Nutella in a warm place so that it is easy to spoon. Or place the jar in a bowl of very hot water. Spoon yogurt into a clean bowl. Whisk in 1 cup Nutella until completely smooth.  One by one, dip each fig into the mixture, holding it by its stem.  Cover each fig completely or almost completely with a thin coating. Place on a large plate lined with waxed paper. Refrigerate until very cold. Serve with a few tablespoons of plain yogurt alongside. Present on fresh fig, grape or lemon leaves. Serve immediately with a fork and a knife.  Serves 4


Photo Credit: Quentin Bacon

Fresh Figs & Shaved Halvah with Warm Honey Syrup
Here’s an unorthodox but compelling combo of luscious fresh figs and thin slices of nutty halvah, a dense confection that resembles, at times, shards of cheese.  This dish offers a good opportunity to try an interesting variety of honey such as wild thyme, linden or leatherwood honey (from Australia.)

1/2 cup fragrant honey
12 ripe large black or green figs, or a combination
6-ounce chunk of pistachio, or other flavor, halvah
handful of fresh red currants, chopped pistachios, or slivered spearmint

Combine the honey and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and keep warm. Wash the figs and cut them in half, lengthwise. Arrange, cut side up, on 4 large plates. Cut the halvah into paper-thin slices. Drizzle the honey on the figs and scatter the halvah on and around the figs. Garnish with currants or nuts, or spearmint.  Serves 4

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