Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fresh Figs with Feta and Black Pepper Honey Recipe

The figs have arrived! The figs have arrived! This is my sentiment when our little tree that we planted a mere 3 years ago actually produced and the tree rats didn't get to them first. Can you tell I am just a wee bit excited?
A few days ago, I climbed up under our baby fig tree and harvested these buggers with abandon, glancing behind me from time to time to make sure the squirrels weren't stalking me (and I know they were, because I could feel their furry, flea-bitten presence) and I picked my little figgies in a state of pure bliss. It was a beautiful thing, and a true first around here because we get nothing, I tell you-- no plums from the 50 year old plum tree, nary a strawberry from the garden, and this year, yard critters ate off all of our zucchini flowers and all of our Meyer lemon tree flowers, so zilcho is coming from either of those. I'm getting a BB gun and a wrist rocket, I tell you, and I'm going to park my butt on the roof and start firing away at will. Heck, even this guy can't help me, and knocking off squirrels is ingrained into his genetic code.
Hankdog gets dirty, a lot.
Much of our fig explosion I can thank our neighbors for, since they have the biggest, most immense fig tree I have ever seen. It literally towers over their house, and there's no question it was planted when the house was built over 50 years ago, and this thing is LOADED with huge, gorgeous figs that said neighbors never touch. We would ask them if we could harvest a handful or two, but they're not really around too often and, while they seem like nice people, we don't really have much interaction other than the distant neighbor wave (ya'll know what I'm talking about). Ravaging their tree late night was a consideration until they adopted a very yard protective pit bull, and while I love me some figs, I don't need to lose a leg over a tarte tatin.
Fresh figs over vanilla yogurt. Simple. Perfection.
So there the neighbor's fig tree sits filled with birds, squirrels and crows who spend a full month enjoying a high fiber snack party of epic proportions while we helplessly watch in horror and disbelief. Yet, how does this benefit me, you ask? It goes like this: when the squirrels and birds have 10,000 bigger, juicier, seemingly unending figs to eat, they leave our tree alone. Survival of the fittest in its purest form, at least for those of us who actually like to eat figs. Their tree gets uselessly pilfered while our tree rises to its fruity purpose by being turned into sugary desserts, honey-laden little bites, and savory entrees, and somewhere amidst this summery goodness Darwin is smiling and probably getting hungry.
Slow cooker pork roast with figs, balsamic, vanilla, rosemary jam and onions.
Heck, I even developed a pork recipe for The Southern Slow Cooker cookbook that I'm in the process of writing for publication next summer (behold the shameless plug). In addition, I whipped up a super easy appetizer modeled after this cool recipe I found from Bon Appetit. Since I didn't have goat cheese on hand, only feta, I subbed that and it was killer.

Fresh Figs with Feta and Black Pepper Honey

*Barely adapted from Bon Appetit* Remember food bloggers, changing one ingredient does NOT make your recipe original. Always link to the original and offer full credit or get written permission if that's the site's policy. Recipe thieves make me mad.

12-14 fresh figs (I used brown turkey figs) cut into quarters, but not through the bottom (see above photo)
1/4 cup wildflower honey (tastes best)
Lots and lots of freshly ground pepper
Nice chunk of good Greek or Bulgarian feta, drained well

Place split-open figs on a serving plate. In a small saucepan add the honey and a good amount of black pepper, to taste. Bring up to medium-low and let simmer for a couple of minutes. Stuff each fig with a chunk of feta and drizzle the honey over the figs and onto the plate (it's pretty!).

Serve with a dry rosé like Barboursville Vintage Rosé which was the perfect pairing for the slightly salty cheese, sweet figs and spicy pepper.

©2012 Fatback and Foie Gras. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
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  1. What? You mean just because I cooked that hamburger medium rare not medium I did not create a new recipe? Huh.

    Your figs are looking yum! Glad you beat the creatures to them!

  2. Thanks, Tim! Looks like our tree is still blooming, too, so perhaps another round if we're lucky.


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