Maple Fig Relish

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One day last summer  I invited some blogging friends to spend the afternoon at the ranch.  We usually take turns hosting a monthly meeting  to encourage each other’s goals and share blogging tips,  but  this time we all needed a day to just  relax.    Mary Platis of California Greek Girl brought  melt-in-your-mouth  pulled pork,  some small buns, and homemade fig chutney for pork sliders.  I’ve had pulled pork sliders with barbecue sauce, but never fig chutney…and it was life changing!

 The next week Mary brought me a whole flat of fresh figs from the California Fig Advisory Board.  Our blogging group had been invited  to create some fig dishes and post them on our blogs to promote the California Fig Fest being held in San Diego.  What to do with all those figs?

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These are Brown Turkey Figs…don’t they look like little brown turkeys?.

Each of us contributed fig recipes to a ‘Link-up” which was shared on all our blogs.    On the big day, we all had a great time at the California Fig Fest,  tasting amazing foods that showcased California figs.  Each dish used at least one fig, so it was impossible to taste them all. How many figs can one person eat in one afternoon?

There were still plenty of figs in my fridge after the Fig Fest was over.   Luckily I noticed  that  Erika of In Erika’s Kitchen in Los Angeles  was making fig relish and posting photos on Facebook.  Erika shared the recipe for  her Fig Balsamic Vinegar Relish using only fresh figs, so I chopped up all of leftover figs and followed her directions.     Instead of using honey,  I decided to substitute Vermont maple syrup. (I can’t bring myself to  make a recipe without changing something…is there a name for this condition?)

chopped figs

I chopped up all the figs I had left.  Meanwhile,  2 thinly sliced and diced red onions were slowly sizzling away in a little olive oil. I added the chopped figs, 1/2 cup of  balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup maple syrup, and 1/2 tsp salt.   I sprinkled in some  freshly ground pepper (1/4 tsp-ish) and a sprig’s worth of minced rosemary leaves from my garden.   That’s it.  I followed Erika’s instructions closely except for the maple syrup.  Then I just let it simmer on the stove for about an hour until it had thickened.

cookingfigsAfter the fig relish had cooled, I poured it into a glass jar, put on the cover and set it into the fridge.  I honestly intended leaving it in the refrigerator for several days as Erika stated  in her blog post. I wanted to eat some on multigrain crackers with goat cheese just like Erika did, on a cute serving board like she had  in her photograph.    But  I cheated.  The very next day  I opened that jar of relish, and  tasted some on my finger.  I had no multigrain crackers and no goat cheese. Not to worry.   Out came the box of pita crackers, and a packet of  soft cream cheese.  And a glass of wine.

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Did the fig relish taste better after three days?  I have no idea.  It was all gone by then.

NaBloPoMo November 2013

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5 Comments

  1. Me too – I always “adapt” a recipe – maybe this is the way I mark it “mine”? Yummy –
    lizthechef recently posted..Under ConstructionMy Profile

  2. Figs relish! Yum-may, Mimi! My husband thinks so too… he would gladly have helped you out at the Fig Fest ~ I do believe Vermont maple syrup trumps honey every time! Although, I might have substituted Agave Nectar which I have rallied around ever since I’ve tried to go all ‘organic’ on myself. Have you ever cooked with it? I too can never follow the recipe before me, tend to do it backwards some days ~ always wanting to change it up or figure out a new flavor that I haven’t tested out yet! I believe the word for this condition is called “recipelexic.” 😉 Great piece, Mimi Avocado <3

    • Dida, I haven’t tried cooking with agave nectar but my son uses it all the time. He and his wife do not use processed sugar at all…so I’m trying to work with maple syrup as often as I can. Besides, that’s what Vermonters do!

  3. I have been going through your few latest recipes and I have to say that they all look delicious!

    What’s funny is that I just tried brown turkey figs for the first time last week. The name is what really pulled me in.

    They were ridiculously sweet! I loved them. I grew up with some fig trees in the backyard of my childhood home, but these were completely different.

    I think I will serve this fig recipe over a wheel of brie cheese and serve it with either bread of crackers. I think the sweetness would really pair well with it. Thank you for sharing this. I am now starting to get hungry!

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