Saturday, September 13, 2014

Fig Season

One of the best harvests right now is the fig ones.These plump beauties are versatile,they can be perfect as an appetizer or wonderful as a dessert.It's the time to use them at the height of their short season. Figs come from the Middle East and Western Asia,however it's the Romans who brought fig growing to a high art.Roman writer, Cato the Elder listed several varieties in his De Agri Cultura,one of the world's first cookbooks in part.the fruit is one of the healthiest fruits you can eatThey are rich in potassium,They are also loaded with calcium and magnesium as well and are a good fruit to eat for anyone suffering from high blood pressure.Dieters should make figs part of their daily regime because they can aid in losing weight.It's due to the fiber.Surprisingly enough they're also helpful in decreasing the risk of macular degeneration ,an eye problem, afflicting the elderly..Even the leaves have tremendous benefits.They can reduce triglycerides as well as lowering insulin.There are several different types, usually identified by their colors.there are the Black Missions, which have blackish purple skin and a pink exterior.There are the green Kadota and Calimyrna while the Brown Turkey is adept eggplant purple .The Adriatic , which provides the filling for the ever popular Fig Newtons are light green with a tan interior.right now your stores or farmer's markets are selling the European figs.For dried figs, look for ones that are mold free and pleasant smelling.They 'll stay good all year round while the just picked ones last only two days in the fridge. Most people think figs are only good for filling bar cookies.However they 're much more than that.David Tanis of The New York Times Dining recommends them in a ricotta and phyllo dough tart.He also adds honey and almonds, a nodd to their exotic past.Of course ripe figs are perfect foils to salty prosciutto as an appetizer or even light meal.You can even pair them with pecorino cheese again in a salty. And sweet combination.Another fun idea is using it and dried salame as topping on foccaccio..You can also wrapped them in cured or dried meats as tasty appetizers for a late summer barbecue.Figs can be added to salads too, to give them a pop of color and earthy sweetness.They can be added to Moroccan tangines or as a glaze for lamb chops or chicken.Try them roasted with the chicken as well.Figs can also add a touch of the exotic to desserts too.Oven roast them and serve with ricotta and vanilla ice-cream.They can top a g√Ęteau di riz or a baked rice pudding.They would be great in a tart tatin or better yet enrobed in dark chocolate.You can also go the traditional route and bake them into bars.Homemade Fig Newtons are relatively easy to make.It requires dried Calmyra figs cooked with water ,sugar and apple juice.The cookie wrap is a buttery one made with eight tablespoons of butter.Assembly is easy,Think jelly roll and then cut into inch or two inch cookies.These are not only a nice snack, they're also a great dessert too. Take advantage of the fig harvest right now.They're healthy and sweet ,along with being versatile.Try them in a salad or exotic dish, or better yet, in homemade cookies.They won't disappoint, not with their flavor and benefits.

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