The Franciscan brothers introduced the fig to Northern California and the black mission fig is surely a gift from God.
This tear-dropped, thin-skinned fruit with its small seeds and honey-sweet reddish flesh is my summer favorite. I can never get enough. I buy them with the intentions of making tarts, salads, fruit polentas and more. Usually, I can't resist and end up eating the whole basket before I can even think about the first recipe.
A week ago, one of these luscious black beauties cost $1. Ouch. Today I was up in Spanish Harlem and scored a whole picture perfect pint for $3. I could barely wait to get home to rinse and enjoy.
One of the simplest and best things I like to prepare with figs is mixed baby greens and goat cheese medallions.
Mission Figs and Mixed Baby Greens with Goat Cheese Medallions
half pound of mixed baby greens
eight extra ripe Mission figs
4-oz log of plain goat cheese
1/4 cup of toasted slivered almonds
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper to taste
First prepare the goat cheese medallions, either plain, herbed or peppered. A small log of goat cheese can be rolled in fresh finely chopped chives, thyme, or rosemary or coarsely cracked tri-color pepper. Then slice the log in 1/4 inch medallions, wiping the blade of your knife clean after each cut. Set aside.
In a ceramic bowl, mash garlic with the tines of a fork and rub around the surface of the bowl. Whisk in the olive oil , juice of one lemon, and rice wine vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add greens and toss gently. Plate baby greens.
Stem, wash and dry figs. Slice each fig lengthwise and arrange several with two goat cheese medallions on plated greens. Garnish with almonds.
Serve with slices of fresh baguette.