October 2018 Fig Focus

Fig, Butternut & Blue Cheese Galette

As the air starts to cool, and the leaves begin to change, thoughts turn to baking and dishes that warm the soul. Our latest recipe, Fig, Butternut & Blue Cheese Galette, is a great recipe to involve the whole family in making. Tasty eaten warm out of the oven or made ahead and served at room temperature.

Tips and Short Cuts:

  • The all-butter galette dough is easy to make in a food processor (directions in parentheses in the recipe below) or by hand. Roll the galette dough between two sheets of lightly floured parchment paper to make prep and clean-up easy. To save time, purchase prepared pie crust dough and roll or pat into a 12-inch circle. We think making the dough gives the tart a rustic, earthy flavor and is worth the time.
  • To streamline squash prep, buy 12 ounces of ready-cut butternut squash and cut into ½-inch cubes.

Fig, Butternut & Blue Cheese Galette

Make the galette dough.

Sauté onion and garlic.

Add California Figs, squash, herb, wine…

Top rolled dough with filling.

Fold up dough around filling.

After baking, serve!

Fig, Butternut & Blue Cheese Galette

Serves 8 to 10

Galette Crust:

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon), cut into small bits
  • 6 tablespoons ice water, more as needed

Fig Butternut Filling:

  • 1 cup Blue Ribbon® Orchard Choice® or Sun-Maid® California Figs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) cubed (1/2-inch) peeled butternut or other winter squash 
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh sage leaves (4 teaspoons dried)
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons white wine, dry sherry or orange juice
  • ½ cup shredded, fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
  1. Make dough: Combine flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl (or bowl of food processor). Whisk to blend well. (Cover processor and whirl to blend.) Cut in butter with pastry blender (or pulse in food processor) until butter is the size of peas. Stir in enough water to make a dough that keeps together and feels moist when squeezed with your hand (or add water and pulse in food processor). Turn dough out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper or work surface. Form dough into a ball; flatten to a disk. Wrap airtight and chill. Let soften at room temperature 30 minutes before rolling.
  2. Make filling: Stem figs. Cut each into thin slices, then cut each slice lengthwise in half. Set figs aside. Swirl olive oil into large nonstick skillet. Place over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft and beginning to brown. Stir in squash. Sprinkle with ¾ teaspoon salt and black pepper, to taste. Stir in figs, sage and wine. Cover and steam, adjusting heat as needed, for 12 minutes or until squash is fork-tender. If liquid remains, continue to cook, uncovered, until all liquid evaporates. Remove from heat and cool while rolling dough.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll dough between two sheets of lightly floured parchment paper to a 12-inch circle. Slide bottom parchment sheet with dough onto an un-rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Stir Parmesan and ½ cup blue cheese into fig mixture. Spread filling on tart dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Sprinkle remaining blue cheese and green onion on top. Fold up and pleat the border of dough around the filling. Bake for 25 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is hot.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges.

Nutrition Information per serving: Calories 310; Fat 18g; Cholesterol 40mg; Protein 7g; Carbohydrates 29g; Fiber 4g; Iron 2mg; Sodium 520mg; Calcium172mg; Potassium 267mg.

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.

Cozy up with California Figs during American Cheese Month

Did you know October is American cheese month? (And, we don’t mean the fluorescent individually-wrapped cheese squares).

That’s right, it’s time to pull out your platters, plates and boards for the ultimate appetizer with wedges from your favorite American cheesemongers. Whichever cheese tickles your fancy, any way you slice it, the best pairing for cheese is a California Fig.

We love Sun-Maid Calimyrna Figs with jack cheese and we practically melt over Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice Mission Figs with Brie. But don’t let that stop you–stumble upon your next favorite cheese and fig pairing to save for an upcoming holiday party or to have a wheel good time on a weeknight. Stay tuned! We’ve got the sweetest surprise in store for you this month too (and quite possibly our favorite cheese and California Fig pairing of the season). Until then, here are a few ideas to get you cooking:

APPEALING APPETIZER: Blue Cheese Ball with California Dried Figs & Honey

SALAD: Salad with Apples, Walnuts, California Figs & Baked Goat Cheese

DINNER IN A HURRY: California Fig and Walnut Pasta with Gorgonzola

CHEESE-LOVER’S DESSERT: Easy Baked Brie en Croute with Chocolate and Figs

Add a Bite of Healthy to your Halloween

Halloween—a day of celebration, spooky surprises, and candy—lots and lots of candy! If you’re a health-minded parent, you’ll be happy to know, it’s not what kids eat one day a year, but rather all year long, that impacts their health and wellbeing. With a little creativity, you can have a fun-filled Halloween that’s a little bit healthy too.

Try these tips to add a healthy twist to your Halloween festivities.

For the Goblins Answering the Door

  • Hand out treats to each trick-or-treater. Give one per child instead of letting kids choose. If you have more than one item, ask them to choose one.
  • Make your treats special. Start a new tradition. Give tasty (healthy) treats or non-edible treats. Be creative and kid-friendly. Try these:
  • California Dried Fig snack bags 
  • Snack-sized bags of pretzels, popcorn, graham crackers, trail mix
  • Crayons, stickers, temporary tattoos
  • Glow sticks or small glow-in-the-dark toys
  • 100% real fruit strips, ropes or leathers
  • Sugar-free gum
  • Bouncy balls, spider rings or vampire teeth

For the Trick-or-Treaters

  • Make a fun, decorative (small) bag with your kids. Set time aside before Halloween to do a creative art project making a bag or container of sorts for collecting Halloween treats. You can limit the size more easily.
  • Have a healthy meal before heading out the door. Having a healthy meal before trick-or-treating helps reduce (hopefully) eating the treats the minute they hit the bag.
  • Choose one. Make an agreement with kids before heading out that they will take one piece of candy from each house they visit.
  • Check the loot carefully. With your kids, check the expiration date and look at each treat. Make sure the packaging is not altered in any way. Check ingredient lists if kids have allergies. Have a conversation with kids and talk about why you are checking. Keeping safe is everyone’s responsibility.
  • Talk to your kids ahead of time. Things to consider: how much candy can they collect and eat; what to do with extra candy; do you want to allow the kids to trade-in their candy for non-food “treats”—a day at the zoo, a movie, lunch out.

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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