The fig season seems so brief in Adelaide, but that might be because they are so hard to find in green groceries. It seems that as soon as they appear in the shops, the season is over.
This year I did manage to find some of the green variety of figs that ripen earlier, and then some outrageously expensive black figs. Really, I need to make friends with someone with a fig tree.
One of Ottolenghi’s dishes in Jerusalem takes advantage of the beautiful taste and texture of figs to pair them with sweet potatoes, chillies and spring onions. This is so good. I mean SO GOOD. You do need to have figs that are sweet, moist and very ripe. You can smell the sweetness.
By the way, if you have access to figs, don’t forget to dry a few dozen, for use over winter.
Or perhaps you are looking for Sweet Potato dishes. Read about Sweet Potatoes here. And then try Caramelised Sweet Potatoes, Potato and Sweet Potato Spicy Curry, Sweet Potato Wedges with Creme Fraiche Dressing.
Or take some time and browse all of the Fig dishes and the Sweet Potato dishes. We have a few Israeli dishes. Take a look at the Ottolenghi dishes we have tried. Or take some time and browse our Mid Autumn recipes.
Roasted Sweet Potato and Fresh Figs
4 small sweet potatoes – about 1kg
5 Tblspn olive oil
40ml balsamic vinegar
20g castor sugar
12 spring onions, halved lengthwise and cut into 4cm segments
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
6 fresh, ripe figs, quartered
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 220C (or 240C if not fan-forced).
Wash the sweet potatoes and halve them lengthwise. Cut each half into 3 long wedges. Mix them with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, and some black pepper.
Spread the wedges out, skin side down, on a baking sheet and cook for about 25 minutes, until soft but not mushy. Remove from the oven and leave to cool down.
To make the balsamic reduction, place the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat and simmer for 2 to 4 minutes, until it thickens. Be sure to remove the pan from the heat when the vinegar is still runnier than honey; it will continue to thicken as it cools. Stir in a drop of water before serving if it does become too thick to drizzle.
Arrange the sweet potatoes on a serving platter. Heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the green onions and chilli. Fry for 2 to 4 minutes, stirring often to make sure not to burn the chilli. When the spring onions are wilted and bright green, remove from the heat.
Spoon the oil, onions, and chilli over the sweet potatoes. Dot the figs among the wedges and then drizzle over the balsamic reduction. Serve at room temperature.
recipe notes and alternatives
Add 150g soft goat’s cheese. Crumble the cheese over the top.
Making your own balsamic reduction is awesome, but you can also use a pre-reduced balsamic syrup (available at providores), pomegranate molasses, date molasses, or other slightly tart and sweet syrup.