Figs for Fall

Frozen, staring blankly in stunned silence, I am the quintessential deer in headlights, with an 18-wheeler coming straight my way.  All I did was flip the calender page this morning, as one is typically inclined to do at the end of a month, I might add, and suddenly there weren’t nearly enough pages left.  November, a tricky month indeed, means the holidays are here.  No more avoiding them, turning your head from the early displays of lights and tinsel at the mall, pretending they don’t exist.  November means both intense business and a time of celebration for me, mixed well with a generous pinch of stress.  In typical fashion, fumbling through the morning and daily routine, I pushed it to the corner of my mind… And nearly choked on my coffee when every email in my inbox was splattered with festive graphics and messages.  What a cruel  wake up call.

But honestly, it’s still early, right?  We can all save the panic over Thanksgiving menus and Christmas gifts for another day; I don’t know about you, but I’m just not ready.  I’m still adjusting to the whole idea of leaving summer behind, for starters!  But I have found a few things to help soften the blow, and truth be told, almost all of them are seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Not exactly shocked? I don’t blame you, it seems like even the most unspirited scrooges can still get into the spirit of enjoying sweet little treasures like perfectly ripe figs. Though they’re not my most favorite fruit, they’re a quintessential part of the fall transition, just like Aunt Mary’s leaden fruitcake must make an appearance before the holidays are officially set in motion. Okay, maybe that’s an unfair comparison, but figs aren’t something I would simply munch on unadorned. Thus, dressing them up in the simplest of clothing, a quick trip through the oven with a sprinkling of sugar does wonders for both texture and flavor. Park a few on top of warm, soft rice pudding, slowly cooked over the course of a lazy hour or two, and you have something to look forward to come November.

No real recipe is required here; just gather up a bunch of fresh figs, slice them in half, and toss them with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Arrange them with the cut sides up on a baking sheet, and sprinkle the tops evenly with a thin coat of granulated sugar. Bake in a 400 degree preheated oven for 15 – 25 minutes, until the sugar is caramelized and the figs are fork-tender. Let cool for a few minutes before topping off your favorite rice pudding with a couple halves, plus some toasted and chopped hazelnuts for crunch, if desired. If you don’t already have a favorite rice pudding, start looking here. I think the internet already has far too many standard vegan rice puddings weighing it down, so there’s no need to add mine to the fray.

31 thoughts on “Figs for Fall

  1. Here fig season is over, but I am saving your recipe for last year. I always eat tons of figs and most of them raw, I should try this for a change, it sounds fantastic!

  2. Happy World Vegan Day to you too, Hannah!

    Thanks for stopping by my place, you put a smile on my face :D

    Love the look of these figs! Any figs in fact, one of my faves. Think I my even put them on my x-mas menu wish list :)

    Have a lovely day today!

  3. The figs I buy from our local grocery store never look as fresh and delightful as what I see on the web. I’ve never split one in half and had it look as good as the fig in your photo.
    The idea of topping of a warm rice pud. with a deliciously ripe fig has me on the hunt. I’m out for fresh figs!

  4. I know…November. Crazy!! It’s funny because fall foods definitely ease the transition for me. I just made a nice warm soup from some some farmer’s market veggies last night. Perfect for the brisk fall evening. Figs on the other hand…I do love them unadorned, so they rarely make it into any of my recipes before they reach my mouth!

  5. I have a real love for figs. My daughter is crazy picky about food, but, for some unknown reason, she LOVES figs!!!! I was stunned the first time she ate one and I continue to be stunned that she keeps asking for more! I’m happy to oblige, though! I’ve not given her a fresh fig, yet, but your post is great inspiration to do so!

  6. I’m really not sure how on earth it got to be November either. And I’m definitely not ready for the holidays! Those figs look divine though!

  7. I love “playing” with figs – they’re not my beloved raspberry – but nothing is. I can see this in oatmeal, over ice cream, in salads…

  8. I am definitely not ready for the holiday season. Not ready to try to scrounge together recipes that will please both me and the pickiest family on earth who wants to eat stuffing from a box and not from my kitchen. Sigh. I need a box of figs. They will surely get me through.

  9. Autumn and Winter recipes are the only thing that keeps me on track through all the holiday madness… those figs look like a beautiful start to November!

  10. One of my fondest memories is emerging from our tent in a campground near Dubrovnik (we’d set up camp the the night before in the dark) and discovering we were camping right next to a fig tree. I’ve never seen or tasted figs like that again — lime green on the outside, bright pink on the inside, and indescribably delicious.

  11. O yes holiday stress… I know all about it.. While christmas seems fairly far off, we are cooking for two days so planning needs to sort of start right now, as I have no clue yet as to what to make! I do love your figs and hmm, can I do something with figs for christmas…?

  12. Seriously, how is it November already?!

    Your photos are gorgeous, as always, but I have to tell you – I don’t like fresh figs! How weird it that? I love dried Turkish figs, and I swear I love pretty much every other fruit known to man (and woman) – but fresh figs always disappoint me. Maybe my co-op just isn’t able to stock the best ones or something because they always LOOK great, but I’m always left feeling like this mushy chunk of fruit isn’t sweet enough, or tart enough, or just…enough…of anything!

  13. I do have to say that I tend to savour my figs on their own, mostly because they’re so ridonkulously expensive here (if you don’t have your own tree) that I can usually only justify a few to sate my cravings. If I ever do come across a windfall of figs, though, I’ll be taking your advice :)

  14. It does seem like the holidays are approaching too fast! I still haven’t really had a chance to enjoy the pretty Autumn foliage and they’re already bombarding me with Christmas advertisements!

  15. I love simple recipes like this one…and I too cannot believe it’s November. Holding onto this recipe because I am sure before I know it, I’ll be caught up in the holiday bustle and in need of something quick and delicious. Thanks!

  16. I can’t believe it’s November either! Where did the time go?!

    I’m not a huge fan of fresh figs (I prefer dried) but I do love the sound of this recipe. I’ll have to give it a try!

  17. Yum! I’m not a huge fan of raw figs either, but I do love them cooked or baked. And rice pudding is one of my all-time favorite foods. Plus hazelnuts, another favorite?! You’re killing me with this one. It looks and sounds so amazing!

  18. i always thought of fig as an aphrodisiac (well that’s what they say in here). i grew to love figs (raw figs). it’s rich in calcium and a perfect antioxidant. with your recipe you just made me love fig even more. even this kind of food is still due for innovation. thanks to your recipe.

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