Growing the good stuff in Athens, GA since 2006

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

CSA Pickups -- Week 13 -- Figs

Roots Farm CSA Week 13: July 26 & 29

This Week:
-Figs!: Brown Turkey & Kadota or Calimyrna
-Beans: Red Noodle
-Okra: Burgundy, Clemson Spineless, Burmese, Star of David
-Melons: Diplomat, Sun Jewel, Hannah’s Choice, Jenny Lind, Eden’s Gem, Edisto 47, Mainstream
-Watermelons: New Orchid, Sorbet Swirl, Sugar Baby
-Tomatoes!: SunGold Cherry, Juliet Roma, various hybrids
-Eggplant!: Nadia, Nubia, Pingtung Long
-Peppers: Green, various varieties
-Chard: Bright Lights

On the Farm
We have an abundance of figs. Yes, it’s a figgy time of year. Figs galore. Some of which are coming your way! Figs are the recipe focus this week, so eat em up, because they won’t keep for long. In other news, we’re finally seeing a change-over into the more summery veggies in abundance--eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes. The eggplant has been appearing for a few weeks, soon to be featured in our recipe section. The peppers are just now making their debut. We’ve got quite a few varieties this year, all of which are currently green (or purple, which is a green/unripe pepper of another color). We’re picking some green ones for you to get started in pepper season. And tomatoes. Ah, tomatoes. They’re finally, it seems, deciding to make an appearance. We’re looking forward to seeing more of them, and I suppose you are, too. We seem to have quite a few green ones sizing up, so fingers crossed for safe ripening. I hope, I hope . . .

Beaverdam SlowDown Dinner

This is your last chance to sign up for the awesome, farm-to-table SlowDown Dinner this weekend. Email Chris at to make your reservations. I’ve got the inside scoop on what’s going to be served, and it’s decadent . . . Come join us!

The fig tree marked the foundation of Rome, and Buddha meditated his way toward perfect knowledge beneath one (that’s right, the bodhi tree was/is a fig tree!). I can understand why--that sweet, musky fig smell is intoxicating and could help lead one into altered states of mind, not to mention providing some outstanding shade in the meantime. Anyway. There are hundreds of varieties of figs, of which we happen to have at least two--one, the Brown Turkey, and two, a greenish yellow when ripe one that we think is called Kadota or perhaps a Calimyrna. The fig trees were here when we got here and weren’t labelled for posterity, so we’re left to make our best guesses based on color, flavor, size, and shape. Those varieties seem to be the closest matches. So yeah. Lotsa kinds of figs. Ummmmm, figgy goodness!

Storage: DON’T DO IT! Eat your figs NOW, TODAY. They are a supreme delicacy that doesn’t keep worth a darn. Sure to go squishy and moldy in t-minus no time. So EAT THEM. Or, if you must delay, freeze them whole and use them later in a cooked dish. Preparation: figs are great raw, grilled, roasted, baked, in salads, smoothies, on toast, in ice cream, on pizza, and more. Oftentimes figs are paired with other fruit, honey, goat cheese, rosemary, ginger, lemon, cinnamon, nuts, and alcohol (wine, brandy). We’ve made everything from fig pot pie to fig margaritas, so have fun. And eat your figs now.

Roasted Figs with Honey and Rosemary
1 pint fresh figs
1/3 cup honey
4 large sprigs fresh rosemary
Fresh cracked black pepper

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash and stem the figs. Slice in half and arrange cut side up in a baking dish. Drizzle the honey over top and cut the sprigs in half and tuck between the figs. Grind fresh pepper over everything. Roast for about 15 minutes, or until the honey is just beginning to get dark and caramelized. The figs should not be too soft - you need to be able to pick them up with your fingers. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Arrange on a plate with soft cheese, such as a mild goat cheese and crackers. Drizzle the juices and honey left in the baking dish over the figs and cheese. Make open-faced sandwiches on the crackers with cheese, then a fig. Makes 4 servings. From We here at Roots would also suggest an alternate preparation where you cut the stem off and stuff the whole fig with goat cheese and a rosemary leaf and then roast them. Honey optional. Delicious for sure.

Fig and Ricotta Crostini
1 French baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
12 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
8 black mission figs, cut in quarters
1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the baguette slices on an ungreased, foil-lined baking sheet. Bake the bread in the preheated oven until the bottoms are brown, about 5 minutes; flip and bake until crisp, 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Spread 1 tablespoon of ricotta on each slice of toasted bread. Place a few ribbons of basil on each, arrange a slice of fig on top, and drizzle the finished crostini with balsamic vinegar. Makes 6 servings. From We here at Roots also make a cinnamon & honey figgy toast that’s outstanding. Make it like your mom would make cinnamon toast, except add figs, then bake.

Blueberry & Fig Gratin
2 baskets fresh blueberries
6 fresh figs, quartered
8 ounces sour cream
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
Mint sprigs

Preheat broiler. Arrange raspberries and figs in 10-inch-diameter broilerproof baking dish. Stir sour cream until smooth; spoon evenly over fruit. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Broil close to heat source until brown sugar melts and bubbles, about 4 minutes. Garnish with mint and serve warm. Makes 6 servings. Adapated from

Fig Ice Cream
2 lbs fresh figs (about 20)
1/2 cup of water
1 lemon
3/4 cup of sugar
1 cup of heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon of freshly squeezed, lemon juice, or more to taste

Remove the hard stem ends from the figs, then cut each fig into 8 pieces. Put the figs in a medium, non-reactive saucepan with the water, and zest the lemon directly into the saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 8-10 minutes until the figs are tender. Remove the lid, add the sugar and continue to cook until it reaches a jam-like consistency. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Blend together with cream and lemon juice, chill in the fridge and then put in your ice cream maker per the manufacturer's instructions. Makes 4-6 servings. Recipe from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz.

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