Fig Barfi Recipe for Diwali
October may be the month of pumpkins carved to light up your porch and the promise of candy for trick-or-treaters, but we welcome this month with nature’s candy. Did you know this month celebrates the Indian Festival of Lights known as Diwali? We collaborated with Asha Shivakumar, cookbook author of Masala & Meatballs on a simple dessert called Anjeer Barfi—anjeer is the Hindi word for fig. Make them for Diwali (or to enjoy with tea!)
Anjeer barfi/fig halwa is a classic Indian sweet treat. It’s deliciously moist, tender and sweet. This rich stuffed fig roll includes flavors of the season like lemon zest and cardamom powder and you can add chopped pistachios or cashews to the almond paste for extra flair.
Recipe and Photos by Asha Shivakumar
Say Cheese: Celebrate American Cheese Month with California Dried Figs
October is also American Cheese month. We celebrate American cheese-makers with abundant cheese plates and boards featuring our Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Dried Figs. Find ideas for creating a delectable cheese board with figs to inspire your autumn gatherings. Need more inspiration: head to our Pinterest board with oodles more ideas.
Health Corner: Fall Fruits and Vegetables Explode
Fill your plate this fall with some super healthy, seasonal favorites that pair well with Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Dried Figs.
Figs (of course, what did you think) The best dried figs come from California. You can find our California Dried Figs in your favorite store or online, under the brands, Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice, and Sun-Maid. Two principle fig varieties grow in California. These are amber-colored Golden Figs and dark purple Mission Figs. Figs are harvested, ripened, and partially dried on the tree. Figs are always a good source of dietary fiber, a wealth of essential minerals such as potassium, iron and calcium, and rich in health-promoting antioxidants and complex carbohydrates.
Swiss Chard Swiss chard is popular in Mediterranean cuisine. When eaten raw, chard is bitter, but cooking removes the bitterness. Swiss chard can be used instead of spinach or kale in most recipes. Chard is full of health promoting nutrients, including vitamins A, C and K, as well as magnesium, potassium, iron, and fiber. Our recipe, Pulled Duck with Quince and California Figs,Celery Root-Parsnip Puree, Carrot Puree and Sautéed Greens, is a stunning autumn dish that features rich root vegetable purees, sautéed greens and a delectable quince-flavored wine sauce. You can make this entrée with chicken legs instead of duck.
Parsnips Parsnips have the same root shape as carrots and are sweeter. Parsnips are easy to prepare and have a long shelf life. They are great pureed, but they are also great roasted with other vegetables. Parsnips develop their full flavor after exposure to extended periods of cooler weather. One-half cup of cooked parsnips is full of fiber and contains more than 10 percent of the daily values of vitamin C and folate.
Beets Roasting or steaming beets whole takes the fuss out of peeling because the skin easily slides off after cooking. Beets are rich in antioxidants, which are important for their cancer-fighting properties. Beets also contain fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and are an excellent source folate. Scrub well before cooking and leave an inch or so of the green tops on to minimize bleeding. Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs pair well with roasted beets in salads, along with kale or arugula, and cheeses, such as goat or feta.
Winter Squash (spaghetti, butternut, acorn, pumpkin) Squash varieties, harvested in the fall, are known as winter squash. Winter squash can be baked, boiled or steamed. If you steam winter squash, make sure it is peeled, the seeds are removed and it is cut into cubes. If you bake your squash, it doesn’t need to be peeled. Cut the squash in half, pierce a few times, and bake in a pan until tender. The seeds and skin can be easily removed after it has been baked. Squash provides many health benefits including beta carotene, vitamin C, and fiber. We have numerous winter squash recipes available on our website, valleyfig.com. Two of our favorites are Sherry Braised Squash with California Figs and Rosemary and Fig, Blue Cheese and Butternut Squash Galette.
Pears Pears are most delicious in the fall when they’re at their peak. Unlike figs, pears do not ripen on the tree. Pears ripen at room temperature after they’re picked. If the fruit near the stem gives in to a little pressure, it is ripe. Enjoy pears as a snack or sliced on a cheese board paired with California Figs and nuts. Pears are great grilled, poached, and pureed. If you eat the peel, one medium pear has 6 grams of fiber. A beautiful fig and pear dessert is our Poached Pear Almond Tart with California Figs.