October 2015 Fig Focus

New! FABULOUS FIG Recipe Series

Each month we will be featuring a NEW Fabulous Fig recipe created exclusively for Valley Fig Growers by Lorelle Del Matto, nutrition and culinary professional. This month, we’ve heard all the buzz about pumpkin, and just in time for all the Halloween parties, is Pumpkin Hummus with Fig-Olive Gremolata

Pumpkin Hummus with Fig-Olive Gremolata

Ready to whirl – Pumpkin Hummus ingredients in the food processor.

Cutting figs for the Gremolata recipe.

Ingredients for making the Fig-Olive Gremolata. Gremolata is 
an Italian topping of garlic, parsley and lemon.

A rasp grater makes it easy to zest citrus.

Pumpkin Hummus with Fig-Olive Gremolata

If you like a garlicy hummus, use two cloves of garlic. For milder flavor, blanch garlic cloves in simmering water for a few seconds. The Fig-Olive Gremolata is also delicious spooned over sautéed chicken breasts or pork chops.  

Pumpkin Hummus:

1 can (15-ounce) garbanzo beans, drained

1/2 cup canned plain pumpkin

1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 clove garlic, finely chopped (about 1 teaspoon)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Fig-Olive Gremolata:

1 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, finely chopped (about 1 teaspoon)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/3 cup chopped, pitted Kalamata olives

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds

Homemade* or purchased pita chips

1. In food processor bowl, combine beans, pumpkin, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, cumin and cayenne pepper.  Whirl until smooth, stopping to scrape side of bowl once or twice.  Taste and adjust seasonings. Adjust consistency if needed with additional olive oil or water. Scrape into bowl. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until serving time.

2. To make Gremolata, remove stems from figs and discard.  Halve each fig lengthwise; then cut each half crosswise into thin slices.  Set aside.  Swirl olive oil into medium skillet and place over medium heat.  Add garlic and stir for a few seconds, until fragrant.  Stir in figs, and lemon juice.  Stir and cook for 2 minutes or until juice is absorbed.  Remove from heat and stir in parsley, olives and lemon zest.  

3. To serve, bring hummus to room temperature if made ahead. Spoon into serving bowl. Stir nuts into Gremolata and spoon over hummus. Serve with pita chips. Makes 2 1/2 cups hummus and 1 1/2 cups topping, 8 to 10 servings.     

*To make pita chips: Preheat oven to 375°.  Warm 3 tablespoons olive oil with 1 clove smashed garlic in small saucepan over medium heat, just until fragrant.  Discard garlic. Split 2 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas in half lengthwise to make 4 rounds.  Brush each on one side with garlic-oil.  Cut each round into 8 wedges.  Spread wedges on large baking sheet. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt, if desired.  Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until crisp.

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.

What’s New with Valley Fig Growers on Social Media?

Our Instagram contest winner, Sarah, and her guest, had a great time at the filming of an episode of Cook’s Country from America’s Test Kitchen. More fun, prizes and giveaways will be coming up next month in honor of National Fig Week. Mark your calendar and start planning your fig celebrations for National Fig Week, November 1-7. Join us for a Twitter chat with the folks at America’s Test Kitchen on November 4, 10am-11am (PST).

“Try ‘Em, You’ll Like ‘Em” Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Take steps every day to live a safe and healthy life. Tips for 2015:

For October, we are embracing the Mediterranean style of eating with our Pumpkin Hummus with Fig-Olive Gemolata. Key components of Mediterranean cuisine include lots of plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts, healthy fats, such as olive oil, fish and poultry. Healthy eating and healthy foods enjoyed with family and friends, that’s the Mediterranean way.

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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