After years of fighting birds, bugs, heat and leaving town on vacation just when the figs were getting ripe — I hit the jackpot this year. Now, I’m so sick of picking figs, I finally gave up and told the birds to help themselves. “Do you make fig preserves?” everyone wants to know. The answer is, “NO, my grandmother gave me 8,000 jars of her fig preserves, and I either fed them to my family and friends or gave them away as gifts because they were WAY TOO SWEET!”
So . . . now I understand grandmother’s dilemma of not wanting to waste anything, I had to think of some way to use the strange little fruit. Figs are really good for you, so I froze a lot of them whole and have been tossing a couple into my smoothie every few days. I smooshed some up in a SLIGHTLY sweet puree’ and spread it on toast. But then . . . I came upon a few recipes for a savory fig tart! Hey-hey-hey! Now you’re talking!
As all good things, this started out with onions in the cast iron skillet in a drizzle of olive oil. I added a small sprinkle of brown sugar, salt and pepper while they cooked.
NOW, as usual, I didn’t really use a recipe so I don’t have exact measurements for you, but at the bottom of this post, I’ll link to similar recipes. I combined ideas from several sources to make my tart, but it’s easy with no real measurements needed – I promise!
In the bowl towards the bottom of the photo, is a cooked puree of chopped figs — mash them with a fork, with a dash of balsamic vinegar stirred in and about a tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken it. I also included chopped rosemary from my garden. I stirred it over medium heat until it was a thick paste. I also sliced a few of the figs to use later on the top.
Using a store bought pie crust (I know! — go ahead and take away my Martha Stewart Fan Club card!) I layered the chopped fig puree, then the onions, then sprinkled it with Feta Cheese (goat cheese would be good, but I only had Feta). I arranged the sliced figs on top and sprinkled on more chopped rosemary.
*Update: I made this again using goat cheese instead of feta, and I think it was a better option, but it works either way.
Baked until the crust was crisp and the cheese was toasty, this fig-rosemary tart was DELICIOUS! So good, it is party worthy and I plan to make a few more . . . because there are still MORE figs on my tree! They won’t stop! It’s like the zucchini of the fruit world!
I know my version of this tart is vague, so for those of you who love an actual recipe, here are similar versions – one using puff pastry HERE and here’s a Honeyed fig and goat cheese tart that looks delicious HERE.
Happy summer fig days to you!