Juicy, delicious and sweet roasted figs dessert – something to impress anyone with
That recipe takes me to one of the most unusual ingredients I use in my kitchen: figs. I used to think that cooking with figs requires special skill and imagination. Fig was something my dad introduced to us as kids. He would buy fresh figs in season and we would indulge on it and enjoy their sweetness and unique “seedy” texture, but that’s all I knew about figs. I never had it cooked or roasted. Until recently. Now my trips to Paris have taught me a thing or two about figs, to start with:
Fig is delicious when baked on anything or on its own
It oozes with juice when cut while warm.
You can stuff it with your favorites
You don’t have to be a skilled cook
It’s a unique fruit to draw with pencil, when cut open
Speaking of drawings, before you read the recipe please allow me, I need to say this: did you know I speak four different languages fluently? sure you’d think ‘hey I know people who speak seven’, but that’s not what I mean. Language is about communicating your non-verbal inner passion. My inner languages are designing, cooking and painting and illustrating. Not necessarily in that order but you get the idea. And one of the reason I’m drawn to cooking is that as an artist it’s my ever-growing passion to arts. Cooking is not only to satisfy our hunger, to me it’s also a process of images unfold in my mind, a process that illuminates my soul. It’s a whole other life in the kitchen but with my other inner languages it goes hand in hand. When I cook I’m connected with the very essence of my creative being. It makes people sometimes ask me something like ‘why do you bother so much in the kitchen?”. It’s hard to explain and depends on who asks me, sometimes I don’t even bother to respond.
So I had a decadent dessert of fig on pastry in Paris (if I could only spend one night in that pastry shop). Not only that I wanted seconds but the dessert looked like a piece of art, like a beautiful gift made only for me. Oh these French…I decided to make my own at home. I changed some ingredients, eliminated the dough and came up with a delicious, sweet and nutty and of course different from anything I had made before.
Fresh ripe medium size figs, with stems
1 tangerine, washed, sliced and cut to small pieces
1/2 c. fresh roasted walnuts, roughly chopped
3 tbsp honey
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (the best you can effort)
4 tbsp tap water
Preheat oven to 400. Clean figs but not under running water use wet paper towel instead, dry them and cut them slightly open on top with a sharp knife (see image). In a small pan combine sugar, honey, cloves, vinegar, water and nuts. When bubbly turn to low and cook for just a few minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Pay attention not to burn it. Remove from heat and set aside to cool a bit. Discard cloves and add the vanilla paste and the tangerine pieces . Stir. In a small shallow baking dish place figs close to each other, gently push fig open and fill each with the nuts mixture and spoon over the honey sauce. Cover loosely with foil and bake figs for 7 min. Remove foil, baste the figs with the sauce and roast uncover for another 5-7 minutes. Remove and let cool to room temperature. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Place a couple of stuffed figs on your most beautiful china and drizzle with the sauce, garnish with thin slices of tangerine.
Now, you are ready to impress your guests.
And yourself too.