The fig tree is really pumping out figs now, and I've been having a great time playing with a variety of uses. I may test my way right out of the batch of preserves or chutney I planned to make, but it will be fun and tasty along the way!
Tonight's fun was with mini 'empanada/ravioli' treats (empanoli?). Empanada in theory, ravioli in design. The dough was made using organic Carolina grown whole wheat flour, which is now happily available at the co-op. The filling is a base layer of leeks, shallots, fennel, prosciutto, butternut squash, tart apples and rosemary, with fig slivers placed on top.
The leeks, shallots, and fennel were sweated down slowly, the squash was roasted till just tender before adding to the mix, the prosciutto was finely chopped, and the apples were added after the mix was cooked to maintain texture. The figs were placed on top of the mix as each empanada was filled and formed. The individually treated elements meld nicely for good flavor and texture, with just the rosemary, some salt and a slight drizzle of aged balsamic for seasoning.
What started out as looking for another way to use the figs has given me something I'll continue to play with into the fall and winter. With cooler weather on the way, I'm already thinking about other combinations and variations for fillings - this one's a keeper!