The last time I ate a fig, it was probably in a Fig Newton. And it probably wasn't even a real fig, but rather some processed dried fruit crap. But despite my inexperience with the seedy fruit, I've always loved the smell of Bath & Body Works Brown Sugar and Fig Body Spray, so I figured I must like figs.
I bought these babies at the farmer's market last Saturday with no clue what to do with them. They were overpriced ($6 for about 12 figs ... a vendor down the way was selling them for $4, but the damage had already been done when I stumbled on those). They were also a little over-ripe. Some were even bursting open.
I ate a few of the not-so-ripe ones raw. They were tasty, but I knew they'd end up rotting in my fridge if I didn't find some way to use them in a recipe. I searched the Internets, and found this great recipe for Caramelized Fig Spread:
The spread contains broiled, caramelized figs and onions, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. I tried it on an everything bagel with Tofutti cream cheese. Hot damn! This is good stuff! Way better than raw figs.
I'd also picked up a crap ton of tomatoes and a cute little jalapeno pepper at the market. And I bought a lemon and some Granny Smith apples at the Piggly Wiggly.
While the figs were broiling for the fig spread, I used the above ingredients (and some evaporated cane juice) to prepare the Tomato Jam from last month's Vegetarian Times:
This was also great served on bagels with vegan cream cheese. The apples, lemon, and sugar give the jam a sweet preserve-y taste, but the tomatoes and pepper lend a bit of a savory kick. I'd never even heard of tomato jam before, but I think I have a new favorite summer tomato treat.