November 2017 Fig Focus

Taste It, Savor It–Healthy Holiday Entertaining

Tips:

  • If you don’t have small appetizer-size skewers use longer ones and thread 2 pieces of each ingredient onto each.
  • Cut dry salami into 4 (¼-inch) slices. Then cut each slice into 4 quarters.

Mediterranean Appetizer Skewers with California Figs

Ingredients for marinade

Marinate California Figs and cheese

Ingredients ready to skewer

Mediterranean appetizers ready to serve

Mediterranean Appetizer Skewers with California Figs

Makes16 (about 6-inch) appetizer skewers

Marinade:

  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or other herb (2 teaspoons dry)
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2/3 cup olive oil

Skewers:

16 small (about 6-inch) bamboo skewers

16 Blue Ribbon® Orchard Choice® or Sun-Maid® California Figs (1 cup) stemmed

16 small (about 1-inch) fresh mozzarella balls, drained and patted dry on a paper towel

16 pieces (about 1-inch) red bell pepper, about 1 medium

16 pieces (2-inch lengths) green onion

16 pieces dry Italian salami (See Tips) or whole pitted olives

Make marinade: In a small bowl, combine wine vinegar, honey, salt and crushed red pepper. Stir to dissolve honey and salt. Stir in parsley, thyme, garlic and olive oil. Transfer half of marinade to a separate bowl. Stir Figs into one bowl; add 1 tablespoon water.  Combine cheese and remaining marinade. Cover both bowls and chill for 8 hours or up to two days, stirring occasionally.

To assemble skewers, Drain Figs and cheese, reserving marinade and discarding garlic. Alternate one of each item (Fig, cheese ball, bell pepper, green onion and salami or olive onto each skewer.  For larger skewers, alternate two of each item on each skewer. 

To serve, brush skewers lightly with some of the reserved marinade. Arrange on a platter or other serving dish.

Lorelle Del Matto, MS, RDN, is a nutrition and culinary professional who combines a passion for  food (and California Figs) with a quest for nutrition knowledge. She believes well designed and tested recipes can be great communication tools. Lorelle has a Master’s of Science in nutrition biology and is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Lorelle developed her culinary skills in France at La Varenne, Ecole de Cuisine. You can find more recipes and healthy lifestyle tips to inspire you to “savor the art of healthy eating” on her website lorelledelmatto.com and on Twitter and Facebook.

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving with Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Figs

It’s that time of the year again, and before you think of Thanksgiving, we mean National Fig Week! The first week of November is set aside for our favorite fruit: California Figs. This year we’ve teamed up with Leslie Nance of Go2Kitchens for a fun week of cooking with California Figs and ideas for your holiday table.

Speaking of the holidays, Suzy Karadsheh of the Mediterranean Dish will show you how to make two easy appetizers: her popular Baked Brie with California Figs and Whipped Feta Dip with California Figs. Head to our Facebook page and check the Video section to tune in. As if that wasn’t enough, we’ve got Kelsey Preciado sharing her recipe for California Figs and shrimp wrapped in bacon with maple dijon dipping sauce in a LIVE cooking demonstration, and we’ve also collaborated with California Sweet Potatoes on several delicious ways to incorporate those sweet spuds and our California Figs into your holiday table.

Save the Dates & Join Us Online:

  • 11/01-11/03 and 11/06-11/07 at 11a PT on Facebook: National Fig Week LIVE cooking demos and conversation with Go2Kitchens
  • 11/04 at 9a PT on Facebook: California Figs Cook LIVE demo with The Mediterranean Dish (Baked Brie & Whipped Feta Dip)
  • 11/08-11/11: California Figs & California Sweet Potatoes Holiday Recipes
  • 11/15 at 4p PT on Facebook: California Figs Cook LIVE demo with Little Bits of (CA Figs and shrimp wrapped in bacon with maple dijon dipping sauce)

November Nutrition Tips and Tid-Bits

Two fabulous eating occasions in one month, National Fig Week and Thanksgiving, make November a very special month. There is much to celebrate when it comes to Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Figs.

  • California Dried Figs are great additions to plant-based diets. Naturally sweet, no added sugars, and a chewy texture.
  • Figs offer a unique and highly desirable nutrition profile that includes calcium, iron, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, and copper.
  • Two popular varieties of Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Dried Figs are readily available all year. The Mission Fig is known for its distinctive sweet flavor, deep purple color, soft thin skin and tiny, edible, crunchy seeds. The Golden Fig is known for its delicious amber color and sweet, nutty flavor, along with its more robust, edible, crunchy seeds and firmer skin.
  • The soil and climate in California’s San Joaquin Valley are ideal for growing figs. Figs are one of the few fruits that are left to fully ripen on the tree. 
  • California Figs are an excellent source of dietary fiber. Just 3 to 5 provide 5 grams of dietary fiber or 20% of the Daily Value.
  • Figs are rich in health promoting antioxidants.
  • Figs are an ancient food and are naturally part of the healthy Mediterranean diet. Recent research has validated that the Mediterranean diet – including generous amounts of fruits and vegetables – is associated with improved health and decreased risk of chronic disease.
  • California Figs are an all-natural energy source, perfect for an afternoon snack or a quick snack before a game or workout.
  • Figs are fat, sodium, and cholesterol-free.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Valley Fig Growers! 

Our picks for a delicious Thanksgiving celebration:

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

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