Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fig and Pomegranate Preserves

Figs are a favorite of mine here in California and black missions especially. Their season hits twice. Usually at the beginning, and then again towards the end of summer. When I see the dark purple color and funny shape, like a wrinkled melted hershey kiss, it's a reminder of my favorite parts of the year. When the days are at the longest, but the grass is still green. The air smells sweet. And if you miss your chance to bite into their delicious raspberry pie like center you get another chance before the leaves start to fall and pumpkins get carved. This year I was sure not to let it pass me by. I was sure to grab myself some.. and a lot. Too many. And seeing that these delicate fruits turn faster than the season it's good their lightly sweet center is already soft and naturally high in pectin. Just asking to be preserved. This year to take it up a notch I added organic pomegranate juice. The tartness lifts the delicate nature of the fig to a new level. Which is a perfect way to get through the cold nights of winter. Figs are naturally high in calcium and minerals and are a good source of polyphenols and flavonoids so along side pomegranate you get a one, two punch of antioxidants.
The thing not too many people realize is that preserves are a great cooking tool beyond morning toast. I've used my favorite jams and preserves in dressings, marinades, cheese platters.. you get the picture. Here is a simple and low fat recipe that would be great with my Fig and Pomegranate Preserve.

Fig and Pomegranate Dressing
1/2 Tbl minced shallot
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 Tbl Fig Pomegranate preserve from The Punky Chef
1/3 to 1/2 c organic balsamic vinegar
3 to 4 Tbl organic extra virgin olive oil.. or for an even fancier flavor try walnut oil!
salt and pepper to taste

Never be afraid to season and adjust to your own taste! This dressing goes great with organic baby mixed greens, pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries, orange segments, feta or goat cheese and toasted walnuts!