It’s a Fig

August 21, 2007

Soft and plump — a good fresh ripe fig is hard to find. With only a short growing season, you may discover them now (high summer) at farm markets or, if you are lucky, on a neighbor’s backyard tree. Unfortunately, their color gives no reliable clues to their ripeness or taste: blackish purple (Black Mission); yellow-gold (Calimyrna); green (Kadota); copper (Brown Turkey) are the most popular varieties. You just have to hope.

If you do find perfection (as in this photograph by Flickr photographer red betty black):

— Leave them alone. Show off their beauty by serving several on a platter at the end of a meal alongside a chalky goat cheese.

— Freeze them on small wooden skewers for a simple summertime dessert.

— Cut each fruit open (yet not all the way through), fill with mascarpone, and drizzle with warm honey.

— Serve a rustic salad of grilled figs and pancetta (adapted from The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook this month’s cookbook pick.

Recipe: Grilled Fig & Pancetta Salad

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