One of my favorite food memories is devouring a hot slice of baguette dripping with melted gorgonzola, topped with plump fresh figs and a liberal drizzle of honey. Only after the dinner guests had licked the cutting board clean did the cook inform us he had picked the figs from the sketchy tree in the backyard of his apartment in the Mission.
I f-ing hate “urban foraging.”
Now these beautiful figs, I picked right off the tree at my friend’s vineyard (thanks, Monsons!). As we squished through the muddy orchard rows, I greedily yanked at these black turgid teardrops.
Overwhelmed with my sack of 30 or so gorgeously ripe figs, I decided to snack on a few au naturale, but roast the rest using David Lebovitz’s recipe to savor over the week. He says you’re supposed to spoon these babies over yogurt or ice cream, but it’s really tough not to just pop them like candy.
1 pound fresh figs, sliced in half pole-to-pole
4-6 branches fresh thyme (I used a sprinkling of dried)
2 tablespoons red wine (I used left over pinot)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
three 1-inch strips of fresh lemon zest
Use a baking dish that will allow you to bake the figs in a single layer. Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Toss the figs in a large baking dish with the thyme, red wine, brown sugar, honey, and lemon zest. Turn the figs so that they are all cut side down in the baking dish, in a single layer.
Cover the baking dish snugly with foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the figs are softened and cooked through. When done, remove the baking dish from oven and let the figs cool completely. Roasted figs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. 6-8 servings.