Figs on the Half Shell

You can't go wrong with fresh, local produce! Cal Fit member and award-winning baker Greg Berger of Fresh Bread Daily is joining us today to share a deceptively simple recipe for figs--a highly underrated fruit! Figs are naturally sweet, and loaded with vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Here's Greg's suggestion for gourmet noshing on figs.

I’ve never paid money for a fresh fig. Because Northern California is the ideal climate for fig trees, with figs ripening between August and October, it’s most likely that you live very near a tree that is loaded with them. Find a tree in your neighborhood or local park, and you’ll have a fig source for life. I’m usually the only one out there picking them, with the occasional competition of squirrels and birds. You can also find them at the farmers markets and grocery, but there is something inherently rewarding about foraging your own.FigsonHalfShell-SQUARELABEL

This is a simple snack or a great appetizer, using fresh figs. If you want to make this vegetarian, instead of using bacon you might toast a few pine nuts in a pan and sprinkle with salt. The salty addition (bacon or nuts) helps cut the sweetness of the figs.

INGREDIENTS

6 large fresh figs

2 strips cooked bacon, chopped

1/2 cup goat cheese

2 teaspoons milk or cream 

1 teaspoon lime or lemon zest

Basil leaves

Honey

Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

Carefully cut the figs in half, then slice off just a tad of the backside, so it will sit flat on a plate. Arrange on a platter.fig-slice

In a small bowl, mix the goat cheese, lime zest and milk until it’s creamy.

Spoon a small amount of the cheese mixture onto each fig.fig-cheese

Sprinkle a few bacon bits on top, then drizzle with honey. Finish by adding a few small pieces of torn basil leaves, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.fig-halfshell-complete

Greg_BIO_croppedBorn and raised in Ohio, Greg moved West first to Chicago then to San Francisco, before settling in Sacramento. He owns a design studio in Sacramento called Pomegranate Design that focuses on graphic design for non-profits and the restaurant industry. After reading a book about sourdough bread, he took up baking as a hobby. Since then, baking has become a passion and a side hustle. He has won blue ribbons for the past 4 years for his breads at the California State Fair, has created bread recipes for some of Sacramento's top restaurants, and has baked buns and rolls for charity events like the Sacramento Burger Battle and the Sacramento Sausage Fest.  Greg is the author of Buns & Burgers.  You can find for of Greg's food on Instagram @thefreshbreaddaily and online at The Fresh Bread Daily