Figs are not only sexy, but they are one of my absolute favorite fruits! I love the crunch of the seeds between my teeth (they can have as many as 1,600 in 1 fruit!) and the almost candy sweetness on my tongue.
Beyond the delicious sensations in my mouth, figs are serious bites with benefits. They are an excellent source of potassium and can help balance blood pressure. High in calcium, figs fortify the bones. With more fiber than any other dried or fresh fruit, figs are great for digestion, can help lower cholesterol, keep weight in check, act as a mild laxative, and can protect against colon and breast cancer. They are like the absolute perfect little package.
BUT, if you have a fig tree, you are probably overwhelmed with hundreds of dropping fruit right now. So I asked Fig & Olive Executive Chef Pascal Lorange what he suggests. Here is one of the most delicious ways to cook with them from one of the most fab (and super trendy) restaurants with 5 location in both New York and Los Angeles:
Fig & Gorgonzola Tartlet
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Serves 4 people
1 sheet Fine puff pastry (available at your local gourmet supermarket or bakery)
1 bunch Scallions
4 Heirloom tomatoes
8 Fresh Figs (if not available or in season, you can substitute with dried white figs)
8 oz. Gorgonzola
2 oz. Chopped Walnuts
1 tsp Fleur de Sel
1 tsp Pepper
2 TB Olive Oil (preferred choice: Fig & Olive’s Arbequina Olive Oil (CA) – $13.99)
1 Fresh Rosemary Sprig, to garnish
2 slices Prosciutto di Parma, to garnish (can omit for vegetarian diners)
¼ cup Arugula Greens (baby Roquette)
1 tsp Fig Balsamic Vinegar
1 TB Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Roll out puff pastry sheet until you are able to cut four 6-inch circles out of it.
3. Place the circles on a well-greased baking sheet.
4. Dice the scallions to yield ½ cup and sprinkle evenly over pastry circles.
5. Cut tomatoes into wedges and arrange evenly around the tart.
6. Place cut figs wedges (one fig can be cut into 2 or 3 wedges) evenly between the tomatoes.
7. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts, salt, pepper, and gorgonzola cheese evenly over each tart.
8. Drizzle a small amount of Fig & Olive Arbequina olive oil over each tart before baking.
9. Bake for 15 minutes or until tart has a golden brown crust and melted cheese.
10. Once it comes out of the oven coat the arugula greens with the Fig Balsamic vinegar, Arbequina olive oil and arrange in a neat mound around the tart.
11. Cover the mound of Arugula with a layer of prosciutto, leaving a space in the center.
12. Serve immediately, or let cool on a rack to preserve the delicate, flaky crust.
13. Garnish with a fresh sprig of rosemary.