A fig is actually an inverted flower that is pollinated by the fig wasp. Wasps hatch inside, mate & then dig their way out. Born wingless, the gallant males die after helping the pollen-covered females escape. These gals find a new immature fig to lay their eggs in and pollinate the new fig with the pollen from the fig they were born in and the cycle continues. Some figs are self-pollinating but I couldn't let such a fascinating story go untold. I am lucky enough to have a friend with a fig tree, a really BIG fig tree. It started producing these jewels about 2 weeks ago and they are still coming in like crazy. I have been serving them at many of my catering jobs, on flatbreads with caramelized onions & blue cheese or on homemade focaccia with fresh mozzarella. Figs don't ship well and must be eaten within a few days of harvesting so a locavore you must become. Here is my current favorite way to eat fresh figs, other than out of hand of course!
Marinated Figs with Fresh Mozzarella
15 fresh figs, any variety
1 lemon, zest & juice
3 T fig balsamic (or reg balsamic)
4 sprigs of fresh thyme, stripped
salt & fresh ground black pepper
Cut the figs into quarters and place in a bowl. Zest the lemon over the cut figs and then squeeze the lemon juice over the figs as well. Strip the thyme and sprinkle over the figs. Sprinkle with a bit of salt & pepper. Toss with the balsamic vinegar and let marinate for an hour or so. Serve with fresh mozzarella balls tossed with a little olive oil & fresh basil, goat cheese or blue cheese on crackers or sliced baguette. I served them at a Hovey wine event on homemade focaccia with fresh mozzarella and caramelized onions to pair with Tempranillo.
Voted Best Caterer for Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties 2016