This post is brought to you thanks to SunMaid/Valley Fig and Kitchen PLAY as part of Team Fresh Summit.
I’ve posted a lot about figs before, though usually my recipes feature fresh figs. However, fresh figs have a short season here in Texas, and are usually so fragile that they must be eaten within a day or two of buying or harvesting.
Dried figs are just as versatile and much more convenient, so I’m happy to be able to explore more fig recipes thanks to Valley Fig.
Valley Fig is one of the brands I met while at Fresh Summit last month, and my fellow ambassadors and I had a great chat with Linda about their company.
Located in Fresno, California, the Valley Fig Growers cooperative is the largest fig handler in North America, which means there’s a good chance the dried figs you pick up at the store are grown by them.
Like in Texas, drought is a major concern for California, especially as many of the crops we have grown to love year-round are grown there.
Happily, when it comes to figs, their trees grow well in drier climates, needing less water to flourish. This climate is also helpful for drying the fruits, as Valley Fig dries their figs in the sun, just like SunMaid dries their raisins in the sun.
Linda also told us about the recipe development Valley Fig has been working on for years, in partnership with America’s Test Kitchen. This partnership ensures high quality recipes that work every time, as well as creating a wealth of resources for anyone interested in learning to prepare figs.
I was provided with a wide variety of dried figs as well as fig balsamic vinegar for recipe testing. This week is National Fig Week, and with Thanksgiving fast approaching, I created a simple, festive side dish that showcases the fig flavor.
My recipe calls for jamón serrano, a variety of cured Spanish ham, but you can easily substitute prosciutto, or leave it out altogether for a vegetarian side. A little goes a long way, so consider using any extra on your holiday cheese plate or adding to your next pizza.
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup halved dried figs
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 ounce jamón serrano or prosciutto, torn into pieces or sliced
- 2-4 tablespoons goat cheese crumbles
- 1 tablespoon fig balsamic vinegar
- Finely chopped cilantro or parsley, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Scrub potatoes and slice into wedges.
- Toss wedges with olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, and bake for 10 minutes, then turn wedges over and bake an additional 10 minutes.
- Once the second bake starts, simmer figs in a small amount of water in a saucepan for about 5 minutes to warm and plump fruit. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of water, then add walnuts and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat.
- When potatoes are ready, move wedges to a serving platter. Scatter jamón over the top, then spoon on figs and walnuts. Sprinkle on goat cheese, then add a drizzle of fig balsamic vinegar and garnish, if desired.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 395Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 376mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 10gSugar: 25gProtein: 12g
Disclaimer: This post is part of my Team Fresh Summit ambassadorship. I received products for the purposes of review and recipe development and was compensated for this post.