Posts Tagged ‘figs

03
Oct
11

improved California figs

I didn’t know until I moved to California that Texas has some of the best figs in the world. Boston had no figs at all, so most summers I had my family send me figs (or send me home with them after a visit). In California, I expected to have my figgy needs me–and I was disappointed. California has figs, yes, but they’re big and watery compared to Texas figs. Texas figs are like candy; California figs are meh. All I can figure is that they’re too well irrigated. But since Texas has been suffering drought, and too little water means no figs at all, I haven’t been able to get my fix.

Mark Bittman’s recipe for figs in blankets (bacon-wrapped figs, so actually figs in pigs) calls for broiling, which got me thinking: Could the broiler improve California figs? The answer is yes. Not quite to the standards of Texas figs, but better. Just fire up a broiler, spray a baking sheet with neutral-flavored oil, place halved figs cut side up on the sheet, and broil for 2-3 minutes, until the figs leak a little juice and the tops start to split and swell. Improved, though not perfected, and delicious with a drizzling of creme fraiche.

What's left after broiled figs with creme fraiche
And it leaves art on your plate!

01
Aug
10

dry farming

My precious

It’s funny the seasonal favorites you forget from year to year, Yesterday, it was dry-farmed tomatoes from Happy Boy Farm (nestled here with the first jalapeos I’ve seen at a San Francisco farmers’ market).

In-season tomatoes are great; dry-farmed tomatoes are greatness concentrated. They taste like sunshine.

Dry farming has the same effect on figs. Sure, California has figs, and I appreciate that. But they’re watery and bland compared to my grandfather’s central Texas figs, which get minimal rainfall and maybe a weekly watering during the fruiting season. Those figs are like candy.