Food of the Month: Figs

Wednesday 8 October 2014 by

Figs, Fruit, October

We’re definitely heading in to autumn now, which means food is going to get much more comfort-heavy for me. I like those warming dishes that remind you of sitting at home watching TV, snuggled under a blanket. But with the transition, you have to find a nice meal that’s still light enough for summer, but comforting enough for cold nights.

This October, the figs are in season! Figs are a delicious fruit that fits right in on the dinner table. Due to its sweetness, it mostly appears in sweet desserts – for simple ideas, try a fig and pistachio baklava, or bake them and serve with some mascarpone (add ginger for a kick). Figs go best with things like walnuts, almonds, honey, dates and toffee, but are well-complimented with spices such as ginger or cinnamon. For more savoury dishes, fig does best against the bigger-flavoured meats – pork, prosciutto, lamb, or (even better) game, such as venison, and duck – and rich cheeses, like blue cheese, ricotta, mozzarella or halloumi.

If you’re uncertain about how to serve up figs, try throwing them on a salad (try this fig and mozzarella salad for a Mediterranean twist or a divine roasted sweet potato and fig addition to any green salad), in a tart (this honey roasted fig and almond tart goes down a storm), or as a very impressive dinner (lacquered duck with grilled figs or wild Scottish venison with port, figs and potato wedges if you’re going all-out, or a simple roast chicken with figs). It’s also popular as a pizza-topper- try the pizza bianco with caramelised onion, blue cheese, figs and balsamic vinegar – or as a posh bruschetta. A massively versatile fruit, you can hardly ignore it now!

As for me, I picked the flavoursome beef koftas with grilled fig and halloumi salad – a super-quick recipe with delicious results…

Beef koftas with fig and halloumi salad, Food, Fruit, October

Beef koftas with grilled fig and halloumi salad – serves 4

You will need:

  • Griddle pan
  • Frying pan
  • 8 skewers
  • Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 475g beef mince
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 figs, thickly sliced
  • 200g halloumi, thickly sliced
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch mixed salad leaves of your choice

How to do it:

Beef mince, Garlic, Coriander, Cumin, Beef koftas

Soak your skewers for ten minutes in cold water. Meanwhile, mix the mince, garlic, coriander and cumin, and a healthy season of salt and pepper, in a bowl, then cut in to eight equal portions.

Press each portion around a skewer, taking up about three quarters the length of the skewer, then chill in the fridge.

Beef koftas, Skewers

Heat your griddle pan and place the skewers onto the griddle and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.

Figs, Grill, Beef koftas with fig and halloumi salad, Food, Fruit, October

Heat your frying pan until hot. Fry your fig slices on each side for 30 seconds, until softened, followed by the halloumi for about a minute each side, until golden-brown all over.

Whisk the lemon juice and olive oil with more salt and pepper together in a bowl, and add to the salad leaves. Toss well to coat.

Beef koftas with fig and halloumi salad, Food, Fruit, October

As you can see, the meat ended up off the skewers – I found it easier to cook and serve. But the rich flavour of the spiced beef, grilled halloumi and warmed figs is just delicious! I served it on a bed of babyleaf and spinach, which was gentle enough to boost the flavours of the main part of the dish. Be as generous as you like with the halloumi and fig – as I was only making it for two, I only used two figs and a few slices of halloumi. Definitely a dead-easy recipe that impresses!

Beef koftas with fig and halloumi salad, Food, Fruit, October

Do you love figs? What’s your favourite way to serve them up?

Check out more fig inspiration on the Pinterest board!

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