Friday focus: Figs

 

Leaves falling from the trees, an explosion of colours, early nights, crisp cold days… Autumn is my favourite season, and the produce that can be found at this time of the year is delicious. It is the time of squashes, marrows, chestnuts, berries…

 

So when I found those figs in my local supermarkets, I simply couldn’t resist.

 

Figs contain more fibre than any other fresh or dried fruit promoting a feeling of fullness in the stomach and also, helping to relieve constipation.

 

They also contain calcium, vital for bone growth in children and bone density in adults as well as potassium, which helps control blood pressure.

 

If all this wasn’t enough, they are also rich in iron (needed to fight against anaemia,) Vitamin C and Vitamin B6 (to promote good memory.)

 

I usually eat dried figs and I’m not used to cooking with fresh figs, so I went on a quest to find a delicious recipe for my beautiful, juicy figs.

 

And I was not disappointed when I found this recipe from the Hairy Bikers: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/roasted_figs_wrapped_in_44423

 

I used this recipe for a solo lunch, but if I had shared with my son, I would have replaced the blue cheese with some crumbled goat’s cheese.

 

 

 

Roasted figs wrapped in Parma ham with blue cheese and rocket (adapted from the Hairy Bikers recipe, see above)

 

Serves 2-4

 

Ingredients

 

·         4 ripe but firm figs

 

·         8 slices Parma or Serrano ham

 

·         75g Stilton cheese, crumbled

 

·         1 small bag rocket leaves (approx 100g)

 

·         1tbsp balsamic vinegar

 

·         1tbsp olive oil

 

·         1tsp wholegrain mustard

 

·         1tsp maple syrup

 

·         salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Preparation method

 

1.     Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

 

2.     Using a sharp knife, cut a cross into the top of each fig, then gently squeeze the bottom of each fig in order to open the fruit.

 

3.     Divide the blue cheese among the figs, stuffing the pieces into the top of them.

 

4.     Carefully wrap two slices of ham around the middle of each fig, leaving the tops uncovered.

 

5.     Place the prepared figs onto a baking tray and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the Parma ham is crisp.

 

6.     To serve, divide the rocket leaves among four serving plates. Place one roasted fig on top of each pile of rocket.

 

7.     Put the oil, vinegar, mustard and maple syrup in a small lidded jar and shake vigorously to mix.

 

8.     Drizzle over the rocket leaves and figs and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

 
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