Gettin’ Figgy with It!

Fresh Figs

I’m one of those super lucky people with a fig tree in my backyard. In late July, the little green figs I’ve been urging to ripen already finally get on with it, and I get an amazing bounty of juicy, summery goodness.

And the race is on. For a couple of weeks, I’m harvesting a pint or so a day, and it’s all I can do to use them up without them going to waste! If you’re into canning, there are Fig Preserves, of course, or this Clean-Eating Fig Butter if you’d like a little less sugar. Or you could go savory and make Fig Ketchup.

But I don’t want all my figs to end up in mason jars! I want to eat some of these babies while they’re ripe and delicious, fresh from the tree. Here’s a favorite idea for a quick snack or small meal:

Roasted Figs with Goat Cheese, Bacon, and Balsamic Glaze

Roasted Figs

This is a simple, endlessly adaptable way to bring out the best of fresh figs by roasting them with complementary flavors. Here’s what I do:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the stems of your figs, then cut the figs in half lengthwise and lay them, skin-side down, on a baking sheet (if you want to be fancy, you can use a paring knife to make two perpendicular cuts about 2/3 of the way down from the top of each fig, then spread the flesh and stuff your ingredients inside the whole fig).

Top the figs with any combination of the following:

  • Goat cheese, cream cheese, any cheese!
  • Bacon, Pancetta, Prosciutto, Ham, etc.
  • Chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds
  • A drizzle of balsamic glaze, honey, maple syrup, or a sprinkling of brown sugar
  • Anything you want! Get creative! So many things taste great paired with figs.

Place the pan in the oven and roast for 12-15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and any meat products are fully cooked.

Enjoy!

If you’d like a more complete meal, you could make Fig Grilled Cheese Sandwiches or Pork Chops with Balsamic Figs.

Another option is pizza! Here’s a super easy method.

Fig Goat Cheese Naan Pizzas

Quick Naan Pizza with Fresh Figs

I get pre-made naan from the grocery store, warm it up in the oven according to package directions, then top it and pop it back in the oven until the cheese is melted and it’s all ready!

I slice the figs about a quarter-inch thick and pair them with whatever’s on hand.  I’ve used goat cheese, mozzarella, thinly sliced onions, olives, bacon, ham, balsamic glaze, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, whatever!

Delicious!

If baking’s your thing, you can make a lot of tasty treats with fresh figs! I made this Fig-Yogurt Bundt Cake and it came out better than I could have dreamed!

Fig Bundt Cake

Some other options for baked goods:

Fig and Olive Oil Cake.

Fig Upside-Down Cake.

Rosemary, Honey, and Fig Cake.

Fig Bars with Thyme

Fig Cake Collage

What are your favorite ways to use figs?

Greek Lamb Burgers with Balsamic-Glazed Onions & Mushrooms and Feta Tzatziki

Ever since we went to the Greek Festival in New Orleans, I’ve wanted to try my own versions of some of the (lots and lots of) food we ate there. One of the best things we sampled was the Goat Burger. It was so flavorful, with the meat perfectly balanced by Greek spices and a tangy yogurt-feta dressing. I had to give it a try.

Goat is a little hard to come by, so I went with lamb. I’m sure these would be great with ground beef or turkey, too.

OPA!

Greek Lamb Burger

Greek Lamb Burgers with Balsamic-Glazed Onions & Mushrooms and Feta Tzatziki

serves 4

Greek Lamb Burgers:

Adapted from Bobby Flay and Georgia Downard.

  • 1.5 pounds ground lamb
  • Half of a large onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 4 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 2 cups mixed arugula and spinach

Burger Ingredients

Combine onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, mint, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Blend until onions are very fine.

Lamb and Greek Seasonings

Add mixture to lamb and combine until evenly distributed.

Patties

Form into four patties.

Grilling

Grill burgers about 5 minutes on each side over medium heat.

Balsamic-Glazed Onions & Mushrooms

Balsamic-Glazed Onions and Mushrooms

  • 1 large onion, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Balsamic glaze (I used Trader Joe’s, but this Martha Stewart recipe looks easy and delicious!)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
  • Salt and pepper

Place onions and mushrooms on a sheet of aluminum foil, leaving of plenty of room around the edges.

Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze. Season with thyme, salt, and pepper.

Fold the foil into a packet.

Grill for 15-20 minutes, until onions are soft.

Feta Tzatziki

adapted from David Lebovitz.

Tzatziki

  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup feta
  • 2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Large handful chopped fresh dill

Tzatziki Ingredients

Mix ingredients together and chill until ready to use.

To Serve

Toast buns on the grill.

Dress burgers with tzatziki, onions, mushrooms, arugula, and spinach.

Go to town!

Greek Lamb Burgers with Balsamic-Glazed Onions and Mushrooms and Feta Tzatziki

I served these with the wonderful Baked Sweet Potato Falafel from Glow Kitchen, and we had grilled apricots and frozen Greek yogurt for dessert.

Heavenly!

Paleo Frittata Muffins

Paleo Frittata Muffins with Egg and Bacon

I don’t know about you, but mornings are a bit of a challenge for me. It’s hard to fit everything in. There’s only so much time, and bed is just so… bed-like. You succumb to the snooze button a couple of times, and before you know it, you’re late, your hair’s still wet, you have a lost-keys situation, and you’re lucky if you can grab a sad granola bar on the way out the door.

But breakfast is important, y’all. Truly. If I’ve got a good breakfast in me, I’m more energetic and focused, and I’m less, shall we say, irritable as the lunch hour approaches. I’m also more likely to make good mid-day food choices that don’t involve drive-through windows.

So these Paleo Frittata Muffins are amazing! They are simple to make, endlessly adaptable, and incredibly tasty! They are Paleo-friendly, so if you’re eating like a caveman, or just trying to reduce your carbs, they’re a good breakfast option.

I make a batch on Sunday and reheat them all week long. 90 seconds in the microwave while I’m fixing my coffee, and breakfast is on the table!

So, how do you make ’em? Like I said, it’s easy!

First, get your ingredients together. Grease a muffin tin or two (I use non-stick spray). You will be making about one “muffin” for every egg you use. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

ingredients eggs bacon onions mushrooms spinach bellpepper

Chop the bacon into pieces about one inch wide and start cooking it in a nice-sized skillet or dutch oven.

While the bacon is cooking, chop up your vegetables. I used an onion, a yellow bell pepper, and mushrooms. You want them in small pieces, about a half-inch. Try to make them all the same size so they will cook evenly. You don’t have to chop the spinach. It will reduce in size when you cook it.

chopped

Once the bacon is cooked, take it out of the pan and set it aside on a paper towel to drain. You may want to pour off some of the bacon grease so that your vegetables don’t get soggy. You really just want to leave enough so they won’t stick.

Cook the onion, pepper, and mushrooms for about 10 minutes, until the onions are soft. Then, add the spinach and stir while it cooks down for a few minutes. When the spinach has cooked down completely, add the bacon back into the pan and season the mixture with salt and pepper. Then, take the pan off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Make sure you stir it well to evenly distribute the bacon & spinach!

saute

Now, spoon the bacon/vegetable mixture into the muffin tins – it’s best to cover the bottom of the cups completely, but try not to fill the cups more than a third of the way – you need to leave room for the eggs!

filling the tins

Whisk your eggs together until the yolks and whites are combined, then season with salt and pepper. 

Pour a bit of the egg mixture into each muffin cup, leaving about an eighth of an inch of the cup empty.

ready to bake

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-24 minutes (22 is usually just perfect), then remove and let cool.

Ta-da! I like mine with sriracha!

egg muffins are ready

Notes: As I said, these are endlessly adaptable.

I use whatever vegetables I have on hand. Asparagus, any color of pepper, zucchini, tomatoes, jalapenos… the possibilities are endless!

You can also use sausage instead of bacon, or leave the meat out entirely.

Adding cheese is also a great option! Grated cheddar, crumbled feta or goat cheese, even brie would be delicious!

I use whole eggs, yolks and all, but you could use fewer yolks or all egg whites in this recipe and it would work just fine.

I have had the most success, by which I mean I have made the least mess, by using a measuring cup with a spout to pour the egg mixture into the pans.

This recipe can be easily adjusted to make as few or as many muffins as you like. I usually make two dozen.

You may have some of the vegetable mixture left over – it’s great on a baked sweet potato!

These keep for about a week in the refrigerator. They also freeze well, so if you make a big batch and can’t eat them all in a week you can just stick them in the freezer and reheat them as needed.

Paleo Frittata Muffins

makes 24 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 dozen eggs
  • 1/2 pound bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • large bag of fresh baby spinach
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two muffin tins with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Chop bacon into one-inch pieces. Cook over medium heat until done but not crispy.
  3. Remove bacon from heat and set aside to drain. Pour bacon fat from the pan until there is just enough so vegetables will not stick.
  4. Cook the chopped onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes.
  5. When the vegetables are cooked, add the spinach and let it cook all the way down, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  6. When the spinach has cooked down, add the bacon back into the pan and season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and let the vegetable mixture cool for a few minutes.
  7. Whisk together the eggs and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Spoon enough vegetable mixture into each muffin cup to fill it about a third of the way.
  9. Pour enough egg mixture into each muffin cup to fill it almost to the top, leaving about an eighth of an inch of space.
  10. Bake for 20-24 minutes.

Enjoy!