Fig Season

23 February 2016 | 10:49 am | Staff Writer

Autumn's approaching and that means figs are coming into season. In what ways can we enjoy the humble fig?

Eating out

VIC: Where to go to get your fig fix: 400 Gradi, East Brunswick — fig and mascarpone calzone. Gelato Messina, various locations — pannacotta with fig jam and amaretti biscuit gelato. DOC Pizza, various locations — fig, prosciutto and gorgonzola pizza (special). The Meatball & Wine Bar, various locations — fig and almond ice cream sandwich. Milk The Cow, St Kilda — Fig shrub cocktail (a blend of fig balsamic, pear and vodka balanced with citrus. Garnished with Gorgonzola Piccante).

NSW: Where to go to get your fig fix: Black Star Pastry, various locations — orange cake with Persian figs. Catalina, Rose Bay — caramelised fig with bitter caramel mousse, brik pastry and sugared pistachio. Cow & The Moon, Enmore — caramelised fig and walnut gelato. Bourke Street Bakery, various locations — fig and cranberry sourdough. Hugos Manly — fresh fig salad with prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella, rocket and apple balsamic dressing; and pizza with fresh figs, pancetta, gorgonzola, tomato and basil.

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What do figs go great with? Caramelise them in brown sugar or honey and serve with cream, or vanilla or caramel ice cream, or natural/vanilla yoghurt. Put them in a salad with rocket, prosciutto, walnuts, dressed with a balsamic vinegar reduction or vinaigrette. Try Yotam Ottolenghi's roasted sweet potato and fresh fig salad. Whack them on some toast with goat's cheese or ricotta, honey, pecans and thyme. Bake them in a fig pudding. Make a fig sauce to serve with roast pork.

Off the shelf

If you can't be bothered to make fig snacks yourself, check out fig jam (Bonne Maman, Yarra Valley Gourmet Foods, St Dalfour), fig ice cream (Maggie Beer's burnt fig, honeycomb and caramel in either tub or chocolate-coated popsicle), fig crisps (Trentham Tucker fig and ginger, 2munch 4 Seed fig and olive), breakfast topper/muesli/oatmeal (Koja, Bellamy's Organic, Table Of Plenty), fig paste/dip (Wattle Valley, Chris'), yoghurt/frozen yoghurt (Dairy Farmers Thick & Creamy, Weis, Bulla), chocolate (Pana fig and wild orange, Naked Truth), fig bar (Emma & Tom's fig and lemon, Uncle Toby's).