Sunday, August 01, 2010

Yummy Figs!

Earlier this week, my good friend Michelle Reuter, wife of our church pastor, Lane Reuter, gave me a heads-up about the fig trees on the church grounds. She said the figs were just falling onto the ground and being smashed by cars, or rotting in place. SO after services this morning, I got myself a little bag and gathered these figs. They were so fresh and wonderful. And I had just paid $7.00 for a small box at the Agricenter farmers' market on Saturday.

Once we got home, we had to have a couple each stuffed with blue cheese, wrapped in prosciutto and roasted just until the cheese was a little oozy. Sorry there's no picture, we gobbled them down too quickly.

I was thinking of making fig preserves, but quite frankly, I'm just not a jam-and-jelly eater. So, I thought, how about chutney? I've done a few before but never with figs. I went online looking at recipes but none sounded quite right, and every one that sounded good called for something I didn't have. So I improvised. I wish I'd had fresh ginger, but given the limitations of what I had, I thought the results were more than just acceptable. In fact they were quite good, and I plan on grilling pork tenderloin for dinner tomorrow evening to go with the chutney!


1-1/2 cups red wine vinegar
1 cup dry red wine (I used a good zinfandel, because that's what I had open)
1-1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 cup red onion, very finely minced
1 cup golden raisins
2 large lemons, juice and finely grated zest
1 tsp whole mustard seeds
2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
2 lbs fresh figs, rinsed and quartered

In a dutch oven, or wide deep skillet, mix everything except the figs. Simmer until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Add the figs. It'll look like there's not enough liquid, but the figs exude a lot of liquid, and soon they'll be covered. Simmer, uncovered, until most of the liquid is reduced to a thick syrup, about 45 minutes.

I put them in sterilized jars, sealed to keep, but you can keep this in the fridge for a good while, and I would think it would freeze nicely if you aren't going to use it within a few weeks.
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