Someone seriously needs to stop me. I can't help myself from buying the cute little baskets of figs. And each time I've done it over the summer, all with the best intentions of grilling or making some gorgeously beautiful Petit Fours or clafoutis, or at least photographing them with a nice cheese and glass of wine, they have sadly gone to waste. I set them down in their little brown bag and they magically disappear from my consciousness until several days later the re-emerge all moldy and spoiled, their little figgy lives a waste. And, while I'm sure they make good compost material, it's really a crime and mine end up there all too often.
The tragedy happened yet again last week. This time though, I managed to rescue six lowly figs from the mold creeping in along the bottom. While they weren't in picture perfect condition, a quick scrub and trim at least rendered them usable for something. That something was a little fig-red wine sauce.
As I've found with a whole myriad of fruits, once they are a touch past their prime, the best bet is to cook them up. Throw the cleaned fruit, seeded if necessary, into a heavy pot with a bit of sugar, lemon juice and optionally white or red wine, and let it simmer for a while?¢‚Ç¨‚Äú I usually let it go for about an hour?¢‚Ç¨‚Äú and then push the goop through a fine mesh sieve to get a smooth, thick sauce... no worries about getting them to the consistency of a jam or a jelly... you just want to capture the essence of the fruit to make it last just a touch longer. If it's a bit runny, it's not a problem. Last week, I did this with plums (throwing in a vanilla bean) and concord grapes, as well as my surviving figs, for three different but equally yummy sauces. They'll keep in the fridge for a little bit (around a week), or if you don't mind the effort, you can go ahead and stock them away in sterilized jars like you would a jam.
Serve over ice cream or on a simple pound or lemon cake. Or, reduce with some balsamic vinegar for a great sauce for pork, duck or roasted winter veggies. Or simply eat it by the spoonful.
(In case you were wondering, I am an Amazon affiliate, and purchases from links in this post to Amazon may earn me a nickel or two... so thanks!). blog comments powered by Disqus
Lara Ferroni is a former tech geek turned food geek who spends her days exploring the food culture of the Pacific Northwest. As a food writer and photographer, you might spy her learning to make kim chee in the back rooms of a local church, foraging for wild berries, or snapping away in the some of the Seattle and Portland's finest kitchens. You can find her work in publications such as Epicurious.com, Gourmet.com, Edible Communities (Seattle, San Francisco), Seattle Magazine, Seattle Metropolitan as well as numerous cookbooks, including Doughnuts: Simple and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home.