Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September Is the End of Summer and the Start of Fig Season

fresh california figs
Brown Turkey Figs grown in San Diego County.

It's September 1st. Summer's over. Of course, here in San Diego, summer never actually started. Temps hovered around 68 straight through August. Surfers grumbled. Tourists shivered in their tank tops. Dogs demanded sweaters. San Diego dogs are seriously spoiled.

I'm probably the only person in San Diego who isn't sad that September has arrived. Why? Because September is the start of fresh fig season, and you simply can't be sad when you see fresh figs.

heirloom tomato, fresh fig and burrata salad with mint vinaigrette

Figs are a sensual fruit. Their velvety soft skin emits a sweet, floral fragrance and often splits with juicy ripeness. They are the prized jewels of farmers' markets, and nowadays most major supermarkets sell them as well. Figs are highly perishable, so buy them when you know you'll eat them in a couple of days. Otherwise, it's best to store them in an air-tight container lined with paper towel in the refrigerator for up to three days. Don't worry though. They'll never last that long.

I don't care what San Diego's weather is like this September. As long as I have my fresh California figs, I'm good.

fresh figs DSC_0041
Black Mission figs grown in LA County.

Heirloom Tomato, Fresh Fig, and Burrata Salad with Mint Vinaigrette
Makes 2 large or 4 small servings
Printable recipe.

Serve this salad in pretty cocktail glasses or serving dishes for a first course or atop a bed of mesclun or arugula for a larger plate. Burrata cheese is soft, fresh mozzarella cheese with a creamy center. It's available at Italian specialty markets, cheese shops and many major supermarkets.

2 cups heirloom tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup fresh figs, quartered (5-6 figs)
1/2 cup diced burrata cheese (3-4 ounces)

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint

1. In a serving bowl combine tomatoes, figs, and burrata cheese.

2. In a small bowl whisk all vinaigrette ingredients. Pour over the salad and toss gently. For fullest flavor, let salad rest for 30 minutes before serving and do not refrigerate.

You might also enjoy these fresh fig recipes:
Fresh Fig and Fennel Pizza recipe from Food Blogga
Prosciutto Wrapped Figs and Brie recipe from Proud Italian Cook
Fresh Fig, Arugula and Mascarpone Bruschetta recipe from Food Blogga
Fig Salad with Arugula, Brie and Walnuts recipe from Stacey Snacks
Fig, Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese Pizza recipe from Cookography