September 2016 Fig Focus

A Fall Full of California Fig and Grain Bowls

It’s no surprise grain bowls are so popular. They’re brimming with appetizing colors, flavors and textures, and a combination of raw, cooked, saucy and pungent ingredients. If you have pre-cooked grains and some leftover chicken or other protein on hand, they’re quick to assemble.

This recipe is inspired by Italian flavors. The warm topping is a sauté of garlic, rosemary and lemon-flavored California Figs and broccoli. The recipe has a mixture of two whole grains for the base, farro, the nutty-tasting ancient wheat variety used in Italy and barley, another whole grain with roots going back to ancient times. Look for quick-cooking versions of these grains and brown rice to save time. 

Italian-Style Grain Bowl with California Figs

Ingredients for the broccoli sauté.

Chopped and ready for the skillet. 

Broccoli cooking.

Ingredients for topping the grain bowl.

Finished grain bowl with California Figs. 

Italian-Style Grain Bowl with California Figs

Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup thinly sliced onion

1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

3 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional

1 bunch (about 1 ¼ pounds) broccoli, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces*

2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, stemmed and sliced lengthwise

1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest

¼ teaspoon salt, more to taste

4 cups cooked farro, brown rice, quinoa or barley, reheated if made ahead

¾ pound grilled, sliced chicken breast or shredded cooked chicken breast (1 pound raw)

1 cup finely shredded radicchio or red cabbage

¼ to ½ cup basil pesto sauce, purchased or homemade

¼ cup toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds, optional

¼ cup balsamic glaze or lemon wedges

Swirl oil into a large, non-stick skillet and place over medium heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring often, until soft and light golden. Stir in rosemary, garlic and red pepper. Add broccoli and stir for a minute, until bright green.  Stir in broth, figs, zest and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cover and simmer for 1 minute or until broccoli is crisp-tender. Remove from heat.

Mound warm farro in 4 bowls.  Divide Fig- broccoli mixture evenly in bowls and spoon juices over grains.  Top with chicken and radicchio, pesto and pine nuts.  Drizzle with balsamic glaze or add a lemon wedge.  Serve warm.

*Peel stems and cut into 1/3-inch slices; cut florets lengthwise in half or in quarters.

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

Joanne Weir Cooks with California Figs

Joanne Weir Cooks with California Figs on our 1st Facebook Live Session

Joanne’s passion for dried California Figs runs deep–she hosted our first Facebook Live session and shared two new recipes using our figs. If you missed it live, watch it here.

Easy Weeknight Dinners with Valley Fig Growers and Not Ketchup

Later this month we will be sharing some incredibly easy and delicious recipes created by Not Ketchup founder, Erika Kerekes, featuring our California Figs and the Spiced Fig flavor of Not Ketchup. Teaming up on this project was a tasty endeavor– Spiced Fig Not Ketchup’s main ingredient is our California Figs! Stay tuned to Facebook for recipes that will make you salivate and get dinner on the table quickly, perfect for midweek meals! 

Count on California Figs—Nutrition Tips and Tidbits

Our featured recipe, Italian-Style Grain Bowls with California Figs, is packed with good nutrition. This one-bowl meal has about 600 calories, includes four key food groups and offers about 50% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin A and dietary fiber, 150% of the DV for vitamin C and 20% of the DV for both iron and calcium. 

  • Try our recipe and then create your own variations of a grain bowl. Go vegetarian and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and leave out the chicken. The bowl also would be great with salmon fillet or even canned salmon, which is economical and available all year round. Both fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury. If you’re serving picky eaters, set out a variety of toppings and let them assemble their own bowls. So easy!
  • Healthy eating includes enjoying at least two servings of omega-3 rich fish a week. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fatty acid that may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Fatty fish, such as salmon, trout, oysters and sardines are higher in omega-3s and therefore offer the most benefit. A serving size is about 3.5 ounces (99 grams), or about the size of a deck of cards. Try our favorite California Fig recipes with salmon. These delicious recipes give you a double boost of great nutrition—omega-3s and fiber! Find these and more great recipes at www.valleyfig.com.

Roasted Salmon with Caramelized Onions, California Figs and Red Wine

Salmon and California Fig Kebabs with Orange-Balsamic Glaze

Sweet and Saucy Charcoal-Grilled Salmon with Line-California Fig Glaze

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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