Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Missy, here. The year before last, we spent Thanksgiving with my husband's side of the family. Actually, with his brother-in-law's family. They had a fig tree, and I had my first ever fresh fig. Or should I say figS--plural!

Oh my goodness,  they were so amazing. Forget turkey and dressing. I just about filled up on figs. I was so excited the other day when I got an email from Martha with a link to fig recipes. I found this amazing one and thought I'd share it with you. I haven't made it yet, but I plan to soon. Figs are in season right now so shouldn't be too hard to find.

So what about you? Have you tried fresh figs?

Open-Faced Fig Sandwiches with Arugula and Parmesan


Serves 6.
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound fresh figs (any type), halved lengthwise
  • 2 ounces walnuts, toasted (1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 6 slices rustic whole-wheat (or white) bread
  • 2 ounces baby arugula (about 3 cups)
  • 1 ounce shaved Parmesan cheese (1 cup)


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Combine sugar, cayenne, and teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until light gold, about 12 minutes. Add 1/3 of the figs, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon sugar mixture, and cook, stirring often, until sugar caramelizes, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly, then pulse onion-fig mixture and walnuts in a food processor. Add pepper and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. (Spread can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)
  3. Place remaining figs, cut sides up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture. Roast until tender and caramelized on cut sides, about 10 minutes.
  4. Spread 3 tablespoons onion-fig mixture on each slice of bread. Top each with arugula, cheese, and several warm fig halves, and cut into 3 or 4 pieces. Serve immediately.


  1. Missy, this sounds amazing. Kinda got that whole sweet and salty thing going on, with a little kick from the cayenne. Dumb question though. Where do you find FRESH figs?

  2. Hey, I just saw fresh figs in the market... and I was thinking "Oh, I never see fresh figs! They're always dried and wrinkled like Belle!"

    Okay, that was MEAN AND UNTRUE, but it was funny so I'm leaving it in.

    Missy, what a fun idea... And it sounds yummy. I wonder what fresh figs taste like? Is it raisiny? Pithy?

    We're always looking for new "tea time" foods for showers and wedding type stuff, so I need to check this out.

  3. Missy, I do enjoy eating fresh figs. Haven't had them in a while though. I have made strawberry-fig jam that you put in the freezer. A lady at church makes a fig cake. Maybe I should post the recipe?

  4. Mindy, I've bought them in the produce section before. Of course, they weren't as good as the ones from south Georgia! :)


    Yes, you know you're about to be politely brought down when a southern woman says, "bless your heart." :) DRIED AND WRINKLED??? No way. I spend way too much on my wrinkle creams.


    You know, I can't really describe them. They're not at all raisiny. They're more juicy than that. And very sweet. I can't think if anything similar. You just need to try them!

  6. Patsy, those both sound wonderful!! How about taking a day to blog and share that recipe/s? Just email us at yankeebellecafe [at] We'd love to have you!

  7. Oh, okay Missy, will do. It may be a day or so. I keep 16 month old grandbaby everyday! I'm writing this before he gets here - must hurry!

    Oh and the other day I made some Honey Butter Rolls. (Let my bread machine do the dough mixing). Shoot, I ate three of them when they came out of the oven!

  8. Patsy, those sound heavenly!! I'm sure I could match you at eating 3 hot ones. :)

  9. The first time I tried a fig it was awful. I was nine years old, and the fig was...well...I'm willing to say it was a bad one.

    And I'm willing to try again since the recipe sounds so good!

    And Ruthy, when a southern woman starts out her comment to you with "bless your heart", watch out! You're going to have to defend yourself, or be shot down.

    Politely, of course. With white gloves.

  10. my brother has a fig tree - he takes them to our aunt to can..not sure how she does it but they end up in a jar sorta squished up.

    I've had them fresh - thought for the longest time they were only found in fig newtons!-my grandma used to babysit us and she'd pass this old house with a fig tree out near the highway and stopped one day and the owner said she could pick all she wanted but to watch out for the dog. we'd go with her but the owner had a chihuahua that stayed on the porch - there was a certain distance up the sidewalk we could go towards the house before it'd come after us - we'd test that poor dog every time! It almost got my brother once - he tripped - he's never liked chihuahuas since even though we had one growing up - a big one not like these tiny ones we have now. He wasn't friendly except to us. But anyways, we tried figs from the tree - don't like them too much - much better in fig newtons! seems like it was kinda fuzzy...not too clear but for some reason the texture bothered me but I was a picky kid - not like now where there's only a 'few' things I won't eat!


  11. Jan and Susanna, maybe it's something kids don't care for.

    LOL, Susanna! I can just picture you tormenting that dog. :)

  12. hey my brother was the main instigator!! I was just along for the ride! I love doggies (not chihuahuas though!) it was just funny how we could walk a certain distance and it'd do nothing not even bark then one itty bitty step more and it'd charge! we even tried halfsteps to see exactly where the line was! Now that I have a german shepherd I see similarities- she has invisible lines and they very person to person situation to situation - it's a good things she's friendly for the most part - protective but friendly for a shepherd..of course the lab thinks everyone's a friend.

    yep must be a kid thing - I remember it being sweet but squishy and stringy or something..just a bad texture for me. I bet if I tried one now I'd like it but I never see them in the grocery store outside a newton - I figured once I realized they were actually a fruit that newton was a genius to take such a nasty fruit and make something decent of it! guess all the sugar helped!

  13. Definitely the sugar added in the Fig Newtons! :)

  14. OH Missy, I bet you'd love this recipe from World's Healthiest Foods - the crust is made of walnuts and figs.

    No-Bake Apple Walnut Tart

    This apple tart is a Reader favorite. The healthy date and nut crust allows you to indulge in a delicious healthy dessert without compromising flavor. And one serving of this tart provides an excellent source of those hard-to-find, healthy-promoting omega-3 fatty acids. Enjoy!
    No-Bake Apple Walnut Tart Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes, chilling time: about 1 hour


    2-1/2 cups walnuts
    1-1/2 cups dates (Medjool dates work well)
    sea salt to taste

    3 green apples, such as Granny Smith, sliced
    juice of 1 lemon in 2 cups water
    1/4 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp allspice
    1/8 tsp ground clove
    2 TBS honey
    1/2 cup apple juice
    1/4cup raisins


    Combine walnuts and dates in food processor. Make sure you remove pits if dates have them and cut off end where stem was. Process until well mixed and ground, but not smooth (about 40 seconds). It should be a coarse texture when done. Press evenly into a 9-inch tart pan. Set in refrigerator while making the filling.
    Slice apples by cutting into quarters. Cut out core and slice crosswise in 1/4 inch thick slices. Put into lemon water while you finish cutting apples. Drain well in colander when done.
    Place apples in a large skillet with rest of the ingredients and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently on medium heat.
    Remove apples with a slotted spoon from hot pan to a bowl and cool completely.
    Reduce liquid to about half the volume and then cool.
    Spread apples evenly over crust. Brush apple-juice syrup over apples. The tart can be served right away or it will keep in refrigerator until needed. Keep tart covered in refrigerator so it doesn�t pick up moisture. Top with a little vanilla yogurt if desired.

  15. Even better than figs...are fresh dates. YUMM. Ruthy and Mary and I wen to the Jerusalem Market while in Tulsa. I bought fresh dates. I am savoring them one a day. They are especially good stuffed with cream cheese.

  16. Mary, it actually says dates! :) But I love those, too. Thanks for sharing!

    Tina, it sounds like y'all had quite a trip--everything from museums to book signing to the Jerusalem Market!

  17. LOL, Missy. I just realized that when I read Tina's post. Oops. Tells you the kind of week I've been having. Maybe you'll like it anyway. Hmmm, wonder if you could substitute figs.

  18. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! Sorry LOL I couldn't help it but I'll have to share this recipe with my mom since she loves figs. ;-)

    XOXO~ Renee C.