Jeweled Cauliflower Rice with California Figs

Cauliflower rice is all the rage right now for good reason. If you’re trying to cut back on carbs or following a keto or paleo way of eating, then swap out rice for cauli rice. Full of fresh herbs, bold flavor and crunchy texture, Jeweled Cauliflower Rice with California Figs is perfect for celebrations but easy enough with a little time set aside for weeknights. Inspired by the Persian Jeweled Rice that’s served at weddings and celebrations, it’s a beloved dish named for the jewel colors of the dried fruits in it. We focused here on California Figs as the dried fruit of choice, which gleam along with the vibrant pomegranate seeds.

A few things to note: If you’re avoiding gluten, swap out the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free alternative, or cut the flour altogether for caramelized onions instead of crispy ones. Feel free to use California Mission or Golden Figs—both add just enough sweetness and crunch from the seeds that add oomph to this unforgettable side dish. Serve it with roasted salmon or grilled chicken for a complete meal.

Jeweled Cauliflower Rice with California Figs

Course Side Dish
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 cups cauliflower florets, about 1 head
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons oil for frying onions
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus 1/2 teaspoon for onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped Blue Ribbon® Orchard Choice® or Sun-Maid® California Mission Figs, (6 ounces)
  • 1 (2-inch) piece lemon peel
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 red onion, halved and sliced into half moons
  • 2 sprigs fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (about ½ pomegranate, seeded)

Instructions

  1. Make the cauliflower rice: Pulse the cauliflower florets in two batches in a food processor, until finely chopped (they will resemble rice grains). Set aside.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 ¾ teaspoon salt, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and a dash of pepper; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cauliflower, gently folding it into the spiced oil until coated. Stir in the figs, lemon zest, and water. Cover and cook until the cauliflower is fork tender, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  3. Make the crispy onions: Line a plate with a paper towel. Set aside. Separate the stacked onion into single slices. Mix the flour, ½ teaspoon salt, and dash of pepper in a shallow bowl. Dredge the onion slices in the flour. Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil into a large skillet, set over medium heat. Place the onion slices in a single layer in the skillet. Saute until golden brown on both sides, turning gently with tongs. Place them on the paper towel-lined plate.

  4. To assemble the cauliflower rice: Stack the cilantro, parsley, and mint leaves. Finely chop the herbs. Spoon the cauliflower rice into a large shallow bowl or serving platter; remove and discard the lemon zest. Top with the crispy onions, almonds, pomegranate seeds, and the finely chopped herbs. Serve immediately.

Recipe and photo by Annelies Zijderveld.

California Fig & Caramelized Onion Savory Scones

For these flaky savory scones, be sure to allow yourself enough time for the onions to caramelize, about 25-30 minutes. Freezing the scones before baking helps keep them from spreading, yielding loftier breakfast treats studded with California Figs. These are the best savory scones and are best eaten the day they’re baked but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

These are the best savory scones - the trick is caramelizing the onions low and slow and pairing them with sweet California Figs.

California Fig & Caramelized Onion Savory Scones

Course Breakfast
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon to caramelize the onions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup stemmed and diced Blue Ribbon® Orchard Choice® or Sun-Maid® California Figs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat and set aside.

  2. In a large skillet over low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter with the olive oil. Add the onions and stir to coat. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they’re deep brown and fragrant, about 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.

  3. While the onions are cooling, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar until just combined.

  4. Slice the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter into small cubes and scatter over the top of the flour mixture. Using your fingertips and working quickly, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small, coarse peas.

  5. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and large egg. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until the dough comes together. Fold in the figs, Parmesan, caramelized onions and thyme.

  6. Scrape dough onto a clean, well-floured counter top and pat into a 7-inch circle about 1 inch thick.

  7. In a small bowl, whisk 1 teaspoon water with the egg yolk and brush the egg wash over the top of the dough circle. Slice into 6 even wedges (or, for smaller scones, 8). Lay each wedge onto the prepared baking sheet.

  8. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F.

  9. Bake scones for 30 minutes or until they’re golden brown on top and around the edges. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Recipe and photos by Megan Gordon.

Fig Pecan Chocolate Breakfast Cookies

Make breakfast fun with Fig Pecan Chocolate Breakfast Cookies. You will love making this breakfast cookie recipe because it will bring joy to the breakfast table!

Cookies for breakfast? Why not! These Chocolate Breakfast Cookies are chalk full of wholesome ingredients including hearty oats and California Figs. Feel free to use either almond flour or almond meal in this breakfast cookie recipe. You could use dark sweet Mission dried figs or slightly nutty golden dried figs. Serve these sweet morning treats at a brunch with our slightly savory California Fig & Camembert Muffins for two ways to enjoy figs first thing in the morning.

Take breakfast on the go with Fig Pecan Chocolate Breakfast Cookies. This breakfast cookie recipe is easy to make and a family favorite.

Fig Pecan Chocolate Breakfast Cookies

Course Breakfast
Servings 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups (140g) almond flour
  • 6 tablespoons (72g) coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup (36g) Scottish oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) light olive oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (160g) stemmed, chopped Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Mission Figs
  • 1/2 cup (55g) chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup (50g) chopped bittersweet chocolate

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper or silpat liners.

  2. Whisk together the almond flour, coconut sugar, oatmeal, flaxseed meal, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.

  3. Whisk together the oil, egg, and vanilla in a small bowl.

  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, and then fold in the figs, pecans, and chocolate.

  5. Use a 1 1/2-tablespoon scoop to measure out the dough and roll it into balls. Arrange the balls of dough on the cookie trays (I bake 12 cookies per large baking tray), slightly flatten each ball, and bake until they’re golden on the bottom, about 8 to 12 minutes, rotating the trays once halfway through.

  6. Let the cookies cool completely on the trays before removing with a thin metal spatula.

  7. Store the cookies in an airtight container layered between parchment paper for up to 2 days, and then store them in the fridge for up to 5 days more. (Serving Tip: After they’ve been refrigerated I like to heat them in in a toaster oven before serving.)

Recipe & photos by Faith Gorsky