Monday, April 9, 2012



Covering their shame with fig leaves, the first couple on the earth evoked a wrath so powerful that mankind never forgot the legend behind those figs. Wearing only a crown of fig leaves as they stood in front of the cheering crowds, ancient Olympian athletes received handfuls of figs for winning various Olympic events. It was mentioned, Cleopatra ate figs from a woven
basket while poisonous asps stung one of her exposed extremities.
Allowed freedom for one day a year, Roman slaves sat under a fig
tree eating as many figs as they desired while enjoying the fruits of their labor. Somehow, figs and the human body have covered a lot of history since that remarkable time.
A meal of figs begins with a soup that has an exotic touch of cumin and paprika interacting with the colorful flavor of tomatoes and garnished with a fresh fig. The recipe below is
from a Penelope Cases cookbook.
Cumin Scented Tomato Soup With Fresh Figs
1-Tlb. olive oil
2-cloves garlic,peeled and finely sliced
4-cloves garlic, minced
1-onion, chopped
1/2-cup green bell pepper,chopped
1-lb ripe tomatoes,skinned,seeded and chopped
1-1/2-cups,canned crushed tomatoes
Salt to taste
1-bay leaf
1-Tlb. parsley,chopped
1-tsp. ground cumin
3-cups water
1-cup bread crumbs
4-fresh figs
Directions: In a soup pot: Heat the olive oil and brown the first two cloves of garlic. Remove it from the heat and set aside. Add the onion, the minced garlic and the bell pepper. Saute the ingredients until they are wilted. Add the browned garlic,the tomatoes and the water. Season with the paprika, the ground cumin and the salt. Add the parsley and the bay leaf. Toast the bread crumbs and cut the fresh figs diagionally. Top the soup with the bread crumbs and a fresh fig.
Figs and strawberry jello are combined to make a strawberry fig
preserve that is good whether spooned over vanilla ice cream or
on a homemade biscuit.
Strawberry Fig Preserves
6-cups fresh figs, mashed
5-cups sugar
1-large package of strawberry jello
Directions: In a large saucepan: Combine the ingredients and bring them to a boil stirring constantly cooking them for five
minutes. Sterlize some canning jars. Pour the mixture into them
and seal the jars.
The crunchy texture of jicama is combined with the softness of fresh figs and served with an orange cinnamon vinaigrette.
1-jicama,washed, peeled and cut into two-inch strips
8-fresh figs,chopped
1-tsp. sugar,
1/4-cup red onion,minced
1-Tlb. cilantro,minced
Orange Cinnamon Vinaigrette:
1/4-tsp. cinnamon
Directions: Add the chopped figs and one teaspoon of the sugar
to boiling water and cook for three to four minutes until they
are softened. Let the fig mixture cool. In a salad bowl: whisk the orange juice, the cinnamon and one teaspoon of the sugar.
Add the jicama, the minced red onion and the cilantro. Lightly
combine the cooled figs with the salad ingredients and coat them
well with the orange vinaigrette.
Sun dried figs are hand dipped into chocolate for a dessert
that any bon bon lover will enjoy eating. The recipe below is
from the Valley Fig Growers Association.
Chocolate Fig Bon Bons
(Makes 25 bon bons)
8-ounces sun dried figs, stems removed
2/3-cup hazelnuts or almonds,toasted
8-vanilla wafer cookies,crushed
1/3-cup cup powdered sugar
1/4-cup rum
1-tsp. grated orange peel
3-oz. semisweet or white chocolate
Vegetable oil
Directions: Process figs, hazelnuts or almonds and vanilla wafers
into a food processor until they are finely ground. Add the powdered sugar, rum and orange peel and process them until they
are well mixed into the fig mixture. Dampen hands and shape the mixture into one and one-fourth inch balls. Arrange close together on a baking sheet or wire rack. In a small microwave-safe bowl heat the chocolate on high for one to two minutes, stirring after one minute. Add a few drops of the vegetable oil if needed to make the chocolate thin enough to drizzle. Dip the tips of a fork in the chocolate and quickly drizzle it over the fig balls, or dip each fig ball into the melted chocolate. Chill until the chocolate is set. Store the fig bon bons in an airtight container up to one week.
Cooking since the age of fifteen, the author has always enjoyed eating and cooking with figs.

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