CRANBERRY FIG CHUTNEY
Fresh cranberries and dried figs make an intriguing chutney, perfect as a condiment for meats and poultry.
1 bag (12 ounces) cranberries
1 package (8 ounces) dried Calimyrna figs, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 small lemon, chopped, seeds discarded
2 Tbsp (30 mL) minced, peeled fresh ginger
1 Cup (240 mL) packed brown sugar
1 Cup (240 mL) water
1/3 Cup (80 mL) red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1.25 mL0 coarsely ground black pepper
In nonreactive 3-quart saucepan, combine cranberries, figs, , onion, lemon, ginger, brown sugar, water, vinegar, , salt, and pepper. Heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 4 hours or up to 2 days.
GOAT CHEESE AND FIG SALAD
4 cups (960 mL) mixed baby greens
4 ounces creamy goat cheese, or substitute feta cheese
8 walnuts, chopped
3 Tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
1 Tbsp (15 mL) walnut oil
1 Tbsp (15 mL) vinegar (champagne vinegar works well)
salt and pepper
Wash the figs. For an attractive presentation, cut the fig in four without cutting through the stem, and allow the fruit to fan open. Garnish four salad plates with the greens and the figs. Place one ounce of cheese alongside the fig, and sprinkle with walnuts.
Prepare vinaigrette with the olive oil, walnut oil, vinegar and salt and pepper. Pour on top and serve.
CHICKEN WITH FIGS IN PORT WINE SAUCE
1/2 cup (120 mL) flour for dredging
5 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter
1/4 Cup (60 mL) port wine
1/2 Cup (120 mL) dry white wine
1/2 Cup (120 mL) chicken stock
6 dried figs (stems removed)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) heavy cream
Place the flour in a shallow dish. Dredge the chicken breasts in flour. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in the pre-heated skillet until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Pour the port, white wine, and chicken stock over the chicken, and scatter the figs around the skillet. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce heat to low, simmer until chicken is fully cooked, about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and cover with foil. Bring the sauce in the skillet to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Whisk in the cream and pour over chicken to serve.
Fresh as well as dried figs contain good levels of the B-complex group of vitamins, including niacin, pyridoxine, folates, and pantothenic acid. These vitamins function as co-factors in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
Dried figs are an excellent source of minerals, including calcium, copper, potassium, manganese, iron, selenium, and zinc. 100 g of dried figs contain 640 mg of potassium, 162 mg of calcium, and 2.03 mg of iron. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Copper helps with the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation as well for cellular oxidation.
Figs are low in calories – 100 g of fresh fig totals a scant 74 calories. They also contain healthy soluble dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and pigment antioxidants that contribute immensely to optimum health and wellness.
Dried figs are excellent source of minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. In fact dried fruits are concentrated sources of energy.
Fresh figs, especially black mission figs, are excellent sources of poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidants, including carotenes, lutein, tannins, and chlorgenic acid. Their antioxidant value is comparable to that of apples.