Kitchen Creativity: How to Use Fresh Figs

Fig Cookie and CoffeeWhen I have insomnia, a not infrequent occurrence, I lie in bed cataloging the contents of my refrigerator. I plan and replan how I can use the available food. I’m the queen of leftovers; my midnight musings often result in new creations. Leftovers are building blocks I can use to make something new.

Last week, my CSA box from Full Circle Farm contained lovely, organic, black Mission figs from California. I ate some fresh, and used others in an excellent grilled cheddar cheese sandwich. When insomnia next struck, my mind turned to the figs left in the refrigerator.

FigWhat should I make with fresh figs? Feta cheese and figs are always good, perhaps with a little prosciutto. I could turn figs into jam and make Pasta Flora with a lemon-scented crust. Figs poached in port, accented by rosemary and balsamic vinegar, are delicious. Then again, I’d recently read a recipe for fig and olive tapenade, and thought maybe I’d try that.

My mind wandered through the various flavor combinations: figs with lemon, figs with rosemary, figs with olives. All four flavors are complimentary. I drifted onto an idea of using them all together in a sophisticated bar cookie.

Fig Cookie and WineA recipe for Fig, Lemon, Olive, and Rosemary Cookies took shape over the next few days, and the result was just what I hoped for. The cookies are sweet and salty at the same time, with olives and rosemary adding slight hints of bitterness to balance the sweetness of figs.

When I took my test bite, I wasn’t sure I’d done the right thing. By the time I finished the first cookie, however, I was convinced. My only problem was stopping myself from eating too many in one sitting.

Fig, Lemon, Olive, and Rosemary Cookies are not for everyone. I doubt that children or unadventurous eaters would appreciate their complex flavors. I’d serve them to my sister, but not to my mother. (NOTE: My mother says I’m wrong; she wants to eat the cookies. She says it’s my father who wouldn’t like them. I stand corrected.)

Be sure to check out the recipes mentioned in this post:


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