I’ve decided that I really need friends with fruit trees. The kind of friends that have so much delicious, ripe fruit bursting from their trees that to them, I am doing them a huge favor by taking some.
Lucky for me, I found a friend in the California Fig Advisory Board. They have lots of fig trees in their backyard (the whole state, really! Lucky ducks!) and were kind enough to send me some.
I take that back. They didn’t just send me some figs, they sent me a ton of figs. Two massive boxes, five flats worth, each a different variety. I’m not kidding here. I think Taylor’s eyes were bugging out of his head when he saw the sheer quantity of figs spread out on our counter. Some of the figs didn’t make the trip so well, but in my mind, squished figs make the best jam.
Yes, I said jam. More jam.
At this point I think I need to get rid of some shoes or something to make room for it all. We’ve got jam jars filling up every square inch of extra space in our cabinets, both in the living room and kitchen… and I have a feeling we’re going to need to make room in the bedroom pretty soon.
But jam isn’t all I’m doing with these special fruits. Aside from eating them whole, we’ve been doing our best to enjoy as much fresh figgy goodness as possible before these delicate fruits disappear. I’ve even frozen a batch of them to try to preserve them in their freshest state. We’ve been having fun comparing each different variety, the green ones slightly floral, the darker kinds sweeter and more robust.
Our favorite use so far has been this simple starter. Figs, goat cheese, balsamic vinegar, and prosciutto. All wrapped up in a neat little package. This dish would make a fabulous (and impressive) appetizer, or, as we did, part of a larger tapas-style meal.
Easily adaptable for any quantity. Plan on 3-4 figs per person for a starter.
Fresh figs, halved
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Arrange fig halves on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet. Top each half with a teaspoon or so of goat cheese. Press into fig. Drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar (about 1/2 teaspoon per fig).
Cut prosciutto lengthwise into 1-inch wide strips. Carefully wrap each fig in one strip.
Bake for 7-10 minutes or until heated through. You may choose to bake them longer if you like for crisper prosciutto.
What’s even better is that my new friends at the California Fig Advisory Board have offered to share another fig bounty with one of you. Yes, they are giving away a fig jackpot; five flats, 15 dozen, nearly 30 pounds of fresh figs. Don’t underestimate this. Prepare yourself. Because if you win, you will be swimming in figs. Not that that’s a bad thing.
TO ENTER: simply leave a comment on this post with your favorite fig recipe. I want to know what you would be most excited to make if you won. Jam? A delicious dessert? Something savory? Tell me! I’ll be selecting the winner the morning of Thursday, September 2nd. One entry per person. Prize will be shipped to the winner directly from California Fig Advisory Board. Because of the perishable nature of this prize, this giveaway is open to residents of the continental US only. (But don’t worry, I’ve got another giveaway lined up that is open to everyone!)
You can also get yourself a BONUS entry by twittering about this giveaway, sharing it on facebook, or mentioning it on your own blog. Simply leave an additional comment with a link to the tweet and/or blog post. One bonus entry per person (multiple tweets won’t get you multiple bonus entries).
Be sure you enter a valid email address, because if your name is drawn and I can’t get ahold of you within 72 hours, I will choose an alternate winner. You may also want to add me to your address book (lindsay AT loveandoliveoil DOT com) for good measure, I’d hate for your congratulatory email to end up in the spam folder.