Figs are a damn sexy fruit, no doubt about it. Often observed to resemble testicles when whole and vulva when split, they are understandably associated with sex, temptation and passion. The Italian word for fig (fico) is un-coincidentally similar to the slang term for special lady-bits (fica). In fact, some believe that the biblical Tree of Knowledge from which Adam and Eve ate was not an apple tree, but a fig tree, making the fig the fruit of original sin and cardinal knowledge. As I said, damn sexy little things.
Another attribute which drives my personal lust for figs is that they are a powerhouse of nutrition. They are particularly good for women, containing the essential bone-building trio of magnesium, calcium, and vitamin K2, as well as being very high in iron. Sex and health – what more could a woman want?
In this recipe I caramelise the figs in a little in honey and lemon, to enhance their their sweetness. The pepper is a lovely contrast which seems to highlight the figs’ delicate fragrance. And of course, the tangy, savoury flavour of goats milk is a classic combination with figs. This can be served as dessert, or even an entrée if you use a chèvre in place of the yoghurt. You can also most definitely eat this for breakfast. Definitely.
• 8 baby figs (or 5-6 large figs)
• 4 tbsp honey
• 1 large or 2 small lemons
• freshly cracked black pepper
• 250ml full-cream goats milk yoghurt
• toasted crushed walnuts (optional)
1. Slice the figs in half.
2. Heat the honey in a cast iron frying pan on high until bubbling.
3. Place the figs cut side down into the pan.
4. Fry for one minute, then turn the figs over carefully.
5. Add the zest and juice of the lemon.
6. Cook for another two minutes, occasionally spooning the juices over the figs.
7. Turn off the heat, leaving the figs in the warm pan until ready to serve.
1. Spoon some yoghurt onto two individual serving plates.
2. Lay half the figs on top of each dollop of yoghurt.
3. Pour over the pan juices and finish with freshly cracked pepper.
4. Sprinkle over the walnuts if using.
Words: Olivia Mackay, www.scoffandquaff.wordpress.com