Fresh Figs on Parmesan Crisps @ Figology Fest LA

Fresh Figs on Parmesan Crisps | #CAFigs #FigologyFestLA

I am continually surprised at how many people have not succumbed to the pleasure of a fresh fig. I’m sure it’s because the word “fig” is associated with the shriveled up dried fruit plate that your Grandparents received at the holidays, or with a dusty Fig Newton.

May I just say that a fresh fig tastes nothing like either one of them?

Fabulous Fresh Figs

A fresh fig is mildly sweet with a texture that combines the creaminess of their flesh and the crunchiness of their seeds. The combination is nothing short of addictively luxurious.

CAFigs | cathy arkle

It doesn’t hurt that the fig is naturally fat free and cholesterol free, as well as being rich in antioxidants, fiber, potassium and calcium. Their case is also improved by the fact that they are naturals for the camera.

CAFigs | cathy arkle

Varieties:

There are more than 150 varieties of figs. Here are just three of them that you can find at your local store right now.

  • Brown Turkey (left)
: purple skin and red flesh with a robust flavor, these slightly less sweet beauties are the most commonly grown fig in California
  • Black Mission (top right two)
: with its blackish-purple skin and pink colored flesh, this fig has an earthy, seductive flavor
  • Calimyrna (bottom right): with its greenish-yellow skin and amber flesh, this bright beauty is known for its nut-like flavor

At the recent Figology Fest LA, sponsored by the California Fig Industry and presented by food bloggers Erika Kerekes and Judy Lyness we received a crate of these three varieties so that we could taste, and experiment. Here are a few of the delightful dishes that were served.

grilled-figs, CAFigsGrilled Fresh Figs with Spicy Pork was a hit. Figs are perfect for the grill.

CAFigs| She Paused 4 ThoughtTurkey Confit with Fig Chutney on Endive was beautifully plated and served with a generous smile.

CAfigs | She Paused 4 Thought

All dishes at our food blogging events must go through the “photo test” before it ever hits our mouths. Figs are the most gratifying – the visuals never disappoint.

CAFigs shake | She Paused 4 Thought  Fig ShakesClick Here for recipe.    Stuffed Figs  À La BlueClick Here for recipe.

CAFigs | She Paused 4 Thought

Judy drizzles honey over her “backup” Fresh Fig and Lemon Tart. So what happened to her first Fig Tart you ask?

CAFigs | She Paused 4 thought

Kerplop. That’s what happened. Nobody was hurt in this tragic fall, so the party rolled on.

CAFigs, Fig sorbet, cathy arkle

The finale was a Fig Zinfandel Sorbet with Salted Caramel Sauce and Candied Nuts. A perfect ending to a very sweet (and savory) fig party.

Today’s Recipe:

Judy made these wonderful appetizers with Parmesan Crisps. You can also use your favorite cracker or crostini. Instead of mascarpone with a dash of lemon zest, try ricotta, cream cheese or Brie. Drizzle with a reduced balsamic glaze or honey. Figs are very versatile so let your imagination run wild!

Fresh Figs on Parmesan Crisps
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetiser
Serves: 6
 
This easy appetizer can be made in various ways. Fresh figs work with many flavors and can be tailored to your tastes.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 4 ounces Mascarpone
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 5 ripe fresh figs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make crackers:
  1. On greased baking sheet spoon one tablespoon of grated Parmesan on one side of the sheet. Using your fingers, press the cheese into a circle. Continue making 16 cheese circles. Leave enough space between crackers, as the cheese will spread.
  2. Bake in oven for 12 minutes or until the edges are browned.
  3. Remove baked crackers with spatula and place on cooling rack. Don’t leave on baking sheet because they will stick. (really, really stick!)
Balsamic reduction:
  1. Place balsamic in saucepan over medium/low heat and reduce to ¼ cup about 5 minutes. Cool.
Assembly.
  1. Mix lemon zest into the mascarpone.
  2. Place crackers on a tray.
  3. Spoon one teaspoon of mascarpone on cracker. Depending on size of fig, slice in half or in quarters. Place fig piece on mascarpone. Continue until all crackers are complete.
  4. Drizzle reduced balsamic over finished crackers.
  5. Crackers can be made up to two days before serving. Place in airtight container.

Fig Quote of the Day:

“Shape is a good part of the fig’s delight.” – Jane Grigson

True, but taste is the best part of the fig’s allure.
…and then, she paused for thought.

About Cathy Arkle

Cathy Arkle is a food blogger, culinary explorer, graphic artist, and cooking class junkie. Her inspirations come from her travels across the globe (50 countries) in the last 20+ years partaking in various ethnic cuisines while working as a graphic artist for major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX & ESPN). She has collected a few Emmys in the field of graphic design for sports & entertainment. Cathy is also a graduate of the Pro Chef courses at The New School of Cooking in Culver City, CA

, , , ,

22 Responses to Fresh Figs on Parmesan Crisps @ Figology Fest LA

  1. Nan July 22, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

    Yum! Lovely pictures.

    • Cathy Arkle July 23, 2014 at 8:05 am #

      Thanks Nan. All of the fig dishes were very yummy.

  2. Kelly Page (@TastingPage) July 22, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

    Such beautiful pictures Cathy!

  3. Lentil Breakdown July 22, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

    Fab fig fotos!

  4. Christina July 22, 2014 at 11:56 pm #

    What an event! Of course you just made everyone run out to buy figs right now! Lovely shots, as usual!

    • Cathy Arkle July 23, 2014 at 8:08 am #

      Thanks Christina! I am out of figs and running out to buy more while they are still in season.

  5. Christina Peters July 23, 2014 at 9:07 am #

    Great shots Cathy!!!

  6. Cathy Arkle July 24, 2014 at 10:03 am #

    Thanks Christina Peters, coming from a professional photographer that means a lot!

  7. Lynne @ CookandBeMerry July 24, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

    This looks like it was a fabulous event and luscious fig recipes. Love your photos!

    • Cathy Arkle July 25, 2014 at 12:03 am #

      Lynne, it was so much fun and we had such wonderful food. We missed you.

  8. Valentina Kenney (@cookingweekends) July 24, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

    Looks like it was so much fun — and so delicious! The images of the figs are stunning. REALLY stunning. And I just love how delighted Judy looks cooking. 🙂

    • Cathy Arkle July 25, 2014 at 12:03 am #

      Thanks Valentina, it was. Wish you could have been there.

  9. sippitysup July 24, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

    fun event. Great pics. GREG

  10. Thalia @ butter and brioche July 25, 2014 at 2:14 am #

    figs are my all time favourite fruit.. love the recipe, definitely will be giving it a go in my kitchen. gorgeous figgy photos too!

    • Cathy Arkle July 25, 2014 at 11:02 am #

      Thank Talia, I can’t seem to get enough figs to make me happy. More recipes are coming.

  11. theninjabaker July 26, 2014 at 11:40 pm #

    Grrrreat photos, Cathy! And scrumptious recipe…After this post more people may actually be buying and enjoying figs!

    • Cathy Arkle July 27, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

      Thanks! I really hope people try figs. It is one of my favorite summer fruits.

  12. Kristi @ My SF Kitchen July 28, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

    Yummm I am totally drooling right now! I love figs!

    • Cathy Arkle July 28, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

      Thanks Kristi! Figs are worthy of drool. 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Fig and Ginger Brûlée Tart | She Paused for Thought - July 31, 2014

    […] own. I suspected a few people didn’t know what a fresh fig tastes like, and after my last fig post my suspicions were confirmed. How can something so seductively flavorful, something as old as the […]

Leave a Reply