It's fig season! With their rich, sweet flavor and unique texture, balsamic roasted figs are the perfect accompaniment to tangy Greek yogurt in these luxurious parfaits.
Around this time of year, fresh figs can be spotted at the market. This is always an exciting time because although you can enjoy dried figs year round, there’s a relatively brief window to get fresh figs.
Domestic fresh figs have two seasons- the first is in early June and then a longer season runs from August through October. So if you see fresh figs at your grocery store, snatch them up while you can!
Figs- an ancient fruit
Figs are an ancient fruit with a rich history and have been cultivated for centuries. Thought to have originated in Egypt they then made their way across Europe and Asia. They were so essential to ancient Greek and Roman culture that they were considered to be a sacred fruit.
Figs were first brought to this country by Spanish missionaries who planted fig trees in California. California is still one of the largest producers of figs today along with countries like Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Algeria and Morocco.
How to buy and store fresh figs
Technically, figs are not actually a fruit but rather, are inverted flowers. Black mission figs are the most common variety followed by Brown Turkey and Green Kadota figs.
When you buy them, look for figs that are plump and slightly soft to the touch without being mushy. They are very delicate and can be stored in the refrigerator for only a few days. So purchase them within a day or two of when you plan to eat them.
Figs are a good source of powerful antioxidants and fiber and are also filled with a number of essential vitamins and minerals including potassium, manganese, vitamin B6 and vitamin K.
Figs can be eaten raw or cooked. They have a sweet flavor and unique texture with a combination of smooth skin, chewy, succulent flesh and crunchy seeds.
Figs are a staple ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine and pair well with both sweet and savory ingredients.
How to eat figs
Here are some ways you can enjoy fresh figs:
- Stuff them with goat cheese or gorgonzola and wrap them in prosciutto
- Roast them in a pan alongside meats like chicken, pork or lamb
- Add them to salads
- Stir them into your morning oatmeal
- Serve them as part of a cheese platter along with various cheeses and meats like ham or prosciutto
- Cook them down into chutney
- Bake a fig tart
- Chop them up and stir them into baked goods like muffins or cookies for sweetness
- Roast them and top them with a dollop of crème fraiche or mascarpone cheese
- Top flatbread or pizza with figs, ricotta, arugula and prosciutto
- Poach them in red wine
Balsamic roasted fig & yogurt parfaits
My Balsamic Roasted Fig & Yogurt Parfaits are perfect for breakfast, a snack or even dessert. I layer tangy Greek yogurt with sweet, roasted Black Mission figs.
I roast the figs in the oven with balsamic vinegar, honey, vanilla and a touch of lemon zest. This infuses them with lots of rich flavor.
As they cook, the figs soften and caramelize, sweetening their flavor even more. The syrup thickens up and coats the figs, creating a lovely sauce to spoon over the tangy Greek yogurt.
A sprinkling of chopped walnuts and a drizzle of honey add the perfect finishing touch to these parfaits. Enjoy these delicious fig parfaits now before their fleeting season ends!
More healthy breakfast recipes
Balsamic Roasted Fig & Yogurt Parfaits
- 1 pound Black Mission figs
- 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey plus extra for drizzling on top
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 cups vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Cut the stem off the figs and slice them in half, lengthwise. Toss them in a large bowl with the balsamic vinegar, honey, lemon zest, and vanilla. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray and arrange the figs so that they are cut side down. Roast in the oven 15-20 minutes until figs are softened and liquid is thickened.
- To assemble the parfaits, spoon ½ cup yogurt into a glass. Spoon a few figs on top along with some syrup. Top with another ½ cup of yogurt and more figs and syrup. Sprinkle some walnuts on top and drizzle with honey, if desired.