by the Webmaster Inspired by a dish served at Wine Cellars Uncorked in Eustis
Makes: 4 servings. Preparation time: 80 minutes.
1 C. Dried Mission Figs
¾ C. Red Wine Vinegar
¼ C. Ruby Port Wine
½ C. Water
¼ C. Sugar
pinch of Salt
1 Bay Leaf [Optional]
2 oz. (Fig Infused or Modena) Balsamic Vinegar [Optional]
[Fresh Figs can be substituted in the fall months when available in the Fresh Produce Department.] Slice each Fig in half (length-wise). Put the Vinegar, Port Wine, Sugar, Salt and Bay Leaf [optional] in a medium sized saucepan, stir to mix, then add the Figs. Add enough Water to cover the Figs and bring it to a boil on the stove. Stir occasionally to blend the mix. The Figs will "plump-up". At boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit, still covered, on the stove for an hour or so, until it comes down to room temperature. [These can be stored in an air-tight jar in the refrigerator for about a week if you want to prepare ahead of time.]
Serve by arranging a few (4-6) Fig halves artistically on a small plate, insides facing up. Drizzle a few drops of Balsamic Vinegar over each half, if desired. Serving it with a strong flavored cheese, like Crumbled Bleu Cheese, is also optional and recommended.
"Fig" - The Fig is a sign of Peace and Prosperity. Figs are native to Asia and belong to the Mulberry family, as Genus: Ficus. They are high in fiber and calories. Figs easily grow in Florida, where the "Brown Turkey" variety is prolific. Figs can grow as far north as New York State if "buried" during the winter months. In ancient time, the white milky sap of the tree was used to remove warts and to soften calluses. This is not recommended today, because of its toxicity to skin. The vinegar in this dish does not make it "wine friendly". However, serving it with a glass of Ruby Port will add to the flavor spectrum.