Fresh figs are a fruit that are native to the Mediterranean. In Western countries figs are most often seen at Christmas in “figgy pudding.” However, there are a number of different uses for fresh figs, including as appetizers, in meat sauces, and as preserves. In order to achieve the best results, try to find figs that are as fresh as possible.
As an Appetizer
One of the best ways to serve fresh figs is as an appetizer. While there are a number of different recipes that can be used to create delicious appetizers, many of them are time intensive or costly. This great recipe is neither of those! Start with some fresh figs that have been washed and patted dry. Carefully wrap one piece of very lean bacon or prosciutto around the fig, and secure with a toothpick that has been soaked in water. Place the completed figs on a baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for around 10 minutes or until the juices from the bacon or prosciutto run clear. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and place the appetizers on a serving tray. These tasty treats are so delicious, your friends won’t believe you made them yourself!
In a Sauce
Another great way that fresh figs can be prepared is by using them to create a sauce for meat, fish, or poultry. Often, sauces are typically loaded with high amounts of fat, calories, and sodium, which all have been found to be detrimental in the development of obesity and cardiovascular disease. In contrast, sauces that are made with figs are high in both fiber and a number of different vitamins and minerals, thereby making them both delicious and good for you. To make a sauce, start by heating a small amount of chicken or beef stock until it comes to a boil. Chop up the figs and gradually stir them into the liquid. Continue stirring at regular intervals until the figs have begun to break down and the sauce has thickened. Season the sauce with ginger, basil, or your choice or herbs.
Fresh figs are also delicious when used to make preserves. When made properly, fig preserves can be frozen and stored for months at a time. To make the preserves, combine water and sugar in a two to one ratio, and heat the mixture until it comes to a simmer. Carefully mix in chopped figs. Stir the mixture until the figs begin to break down, and the mixture thickens. Immediately pour the mixture into canning jars and close the jars according to the instructions of the label of the jar. Keep a few jars in the refrigerator to eat immediately or share with friends, and store the rest in the freezer until you need a new supply.