Summer is here which means we’re dreaming up all the ways we can dress up vanilla ice cream to cool off from the heat and enjoy this season. Sure, sprinkles and chocolate sauce are nice, but in the Made In Nature kitchen, we prefer to be more creative (and healthy) with our desserts. The blank slate of vanilla is perfect for showing off everything from slivered almonds to our new favorite, sautéed figs.
Here’s an easy recipe for this sweet fruit, but it doesn’t just stop at ice cream and appetizers. Here are 10 other ways to incorporate figs into your summer diet.
Bruschetta: Toast baguette slices. Top with sautéed figs and goat cheese. Arrange on a baking sheet, sprinkle with chopped olives. Broil until nuts begin to brown. Sprinkle with favorite herb. We like fresh Thyme.
Ice Cream: Top your favorite vanilla bean ice cream with sautéed figs. Sprinkle with pistachios for delightful crunch.
Stuffed pork tenderloin: Slice pork in half lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side. Place between plastic wrap; pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a mallet or heavy skillet. Spread fig preserves and blue cheese over pork, leaving a 1/2-inch margin around outside edges. Roll up the pork like a jelly-roll, securing with twine as you go. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place on a foil-lined jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes.
Crunchy with endive spears: For an easy appetizer, separate endive spears and dress with fig preserves, blue cheese and walnuts.
Goat cheese, arugula pizza: Top pizza crust with olive oil, goat cheese and sautéed figs. Broil until cheese begins to bubble. Take out and top with thin slices of prosciutto and caramelized onions. Let cool slightly and top with fresh arugula. Buon appetito!
Ricotta: Top ricotta cheese with sautéed figs, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with thyme for a classic Italian breakfast.
Grilled chicken salad: Top spinach with grilled chicken breast slices. Add toasted walnuts, blue cheese and diced figs. Dress with olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Yogurt: Top Greek yogurt (we like plain, Vanilla works great as well) with figs, crushed pistachios and a drizzle of honey.
Linguine and pancetta: Sauté radicchio with prosciutto and diced figs. Add mixture to linguine, toss with feta cheese and chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add olive oil if the pasta is dry.
Chicken with sauce: Puree sautéed figs using a food processor and adding water as needed to desired texture. Serve on top of grilled or roasted chicken sprinkled with finishing pepper and rosemary for garnish.
What else can you do with figs? We think the possibilities are endless. Tell us about your favorite recipe in the comments section