27 September 2013

Grilled Figs with Balsamic Glaze

I’m going through a fig phase. That’s what I love about food, just when you think you’ve got your taste buds all worked out, you get a nice surprise. My only experience with figs as a child was when Mum would buy them dried, looped onto string in a donut shape and I never did acquire a taste for their leathery, chewy texture together with all those seeds! Fresh figs just weren’t on the radar until many years later when the Chief and I moved into our house and our neighbor had a fig tree in the back garden. Occasionally we would get bags of figs handed over the fence but they were so soft, squashy and over ripe that after having sampled them, I’d been turned off for life. That was until this past summer in Italy.  I’ve always loved the look of fresh figs, the beautiful dark purple exterior that surrounds that delicate pretty pink flesh and when we were given a bag of just picked figs while on holiday,  I decided to get adventurous and give them another go. What a revelation! Over the last couple of weeks, the shops here have been bursting with trays of luscious figs so I’ve been experimenting. I’ve made fig muffins, fig & almond cake and fig & raspberry popsicles but my favourite way of eating them has been as simple as popping them in a hot pan, cut side down and then when lovely and caramelized, drizzling over some thick, syrupy balsamic glaze (not vinegar, must be glaze) and good olive oil. I wrapped a couple in prosciutto too before grilling and also crumbled some lovely salty feta on others, just for good measure and they were both fantastic as well. These would be terrific served alongside some grilled chicken or pork.  I must admit that I still find eating them ‘a la naturale’ a bit average and I think they definitely do benefit from a little help to bring out their flavour, so if you’re not a fig fan, give this a try and you may become a convert too.

Grilled Figs with Balsamic Glaze

Fresh figs, cut in half from base to stem
Sea salt
Balsamic glaze (not vinegar!)
Good quality extra virgin olive oil

Heat up your griddle or frying pan. Rub the cut side of the figs with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Place them, cut side down in the pan and cook for a few minutes until golden brown. Remove from the pan and drizzle with balsamic glaze and a little more olive oil.
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Andréanne said...

So a great way to eat figs :)

Julie said...

These were so simple yet so yummy! A revelation for me.