Wednesday, September 1

September Is the End of Summer and the Start of Fig Season

fresh california figs
Brown Turkey Figs grown in San Diego County.

It's September 1st. Summer's over. Of course, here in San Diego, summer never actually started. Temps hovered around 68 straight through August. Surfers grumbled. Tourists shivered in their tank tops. Dogs demanded sweaters. San Diego dogs are seriously spoiled.

I'm probably the only person in San Diego who isn't sad that September has arrived. Why? Because September is the start of fresh fig season, and you simply can't be sad when you see fresh figs.

heirloom tomato, fresh fig and burrata salad with mint vinaigrette

Figs are a sensual fruit. Their velvety soft skin emits a sweet, floral fragrance and often splits with juicy ripeness. They are the prized jewels of farmers' markets, and nowadays most major supermarkets sell them as well. Figs are highly perishable, so buy them when you know you'll eat them in a couple of days. Otherwise, it's best to store them in an air-tight container lined with paper towel in the refrigerator for up to three days. Don't worry though. They'll never last that long.

I don't care what San Diego's weather is like this September. As long as I have my fresh California figs, I'm good.

fresh figs DSC_0041
Black Mission figs grown in LA County.

Heirloom Tomato, Fresh Fig, and Burrata Salad with Mint Vinaigrette
Makes 2 large or 4 small servings
Printable recipe.

Serve this salad in pretty cocktail glasses or serving dishes for a first course or atop a bed of mesclun or arugula for a larger plate. Burrata cheese is soft, fresh mozzarella cheese with a creamy center. It's available at Italian specialty markets, cheese shops and many major supermarkets.

2 cups heirloom tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup fresh figs, quartered (5-6 figs)
1/2 cup diced burrata cheese (3-4 ounces)

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint

1. In a serving bowl combine tomatoes, figs, and burrata cheese.

2. In a small bowl whisk all vinaigrette ingredients. Pour over the salad and toss gently. For fullest flavor, let salad rest for 30 minutes before serving and do not refrigerate.

You might also enjoy these fresh fig recipes:
Fresh Fig and Fennel Pizza recipe from Food Blogga
Prosciutto Wrapped Figs and Brie recipe from Proud Italian Cook
Fresh Fig, Arugula and Mascarpone Bruschetta recipe from Food Blogga
Fig Salad with Arugula, Brie and Walnuts recipe from Stacey Snacks
Fig, Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese Pizza recipe from Cookography


Jessica @ How Sweet said...

I have been waiting for fig season all year! Not that I can find great figs in this area, but I can manage to find a few!

megan said...

I'm thrilled for September to be here too, but more for the end of the heat then the figs. It's been in the 100s here. Although I do love my figs! This salad looks so easy and delicious. I'd love to find that cheese!

Maria said...

I have been craving that salad ever since you tweeted the photo. Gorgeous!

Dewi said...

Very inspiring Susan, love your mints vinaigrette :)

Erin said...

YUM. I just blogged about wanting to track down figs - they seem so uncommon here in the East Coast, or if I'm not looking in the right places.
That recipe looks insanely good - thanks for the tips!

Unknown said...

Hi, I am also a San Diegan and just started seeing all the figs - I have NVER baked with them but you are inspiring me

Joanne said...

Considering that I just ate one of those little baskets of figs. By myself. In one day. You could say that I'm excited about fig season! I love the sound of this salad. My next basket will be reserved for this!

Anna@Tallgrass Kitchen said...

Ah, figs - they're so lovely. I wish I had a more reliable source here in WI (although I've been contemplating planting my own tree in a pot that can be moved indoors.)
And the vinaigrette sounds lovely - I can't wait to try it on some melon.

Steve said...

Another suggestion for fig fans is to combine a slice of fig with a leaf of fresh basil. I discovered this a couple of years ago and am totally hooked now. The basil really stands up to the incredible sweetness of my Blackjack figs (sweeter than the Black Turkey, IMHO). I've been harvesting since mid August and this week and next are crunch time. The Blackjack is a heavy producer and ripens over a long time (> 30 days)plus it's semi-dwarfing on its own rootstock. That makes it easier to prune and to net. Gotta have the net if you want figs, otherwise the birds win. Did I mention the ants? Tanglefoot around the trunk is the only thing that keeps them out. If you buy figs at the FM, thank the grower for their hard work.

RamblingTart said...

So gorgeous, Susan! What a pleasing and unusual combination of lovely flavors. :-) I'm so excited for fig season! I want to roast some right now!! :-)

Anonymous said...

We love figs! They are so delicious in a salad. I like them with spinach and roasted almonds.

Window On The Prairie said...

I've never had a fresh fig. The only fig I've eaten came in a fig newton. Would love to have a fresh one though. Out here on the prairie they are hard to come by though.

Cooking with Michele said...

Hmmmm...never thought of putting figs with tomatoes for some reason, but I'm a HUGE burrata fan so think I'll have to give this one a try!

We Are Not Martha said...

Yay for fig season!!!! I've been waiting for figs and I'm so excited! Just another reason to get excited about fall :)


Cakelaw said...

I adore figs, and sensual they are. This salad looks like the perfect way to showcase their flavour.

Meeta K. Wolff said...

figs are the best! i love them and they are a few of the things that keep me reconciled when summer moves on! i just bought a large bag full! just love your salad idea susan!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

There's that elusive burrata again that would lend it's creamy textire to the heirlooms and figs..yummm:D

Susan from Food Blogga said...

jessica- Even a precious few will do.

megan-Since burrata has become more popular recently, more and more stores are carrying it. If you can't find it an Italian or cheese specialty shop or supermarket, then ask a manager. They may be able to order it for you.


elra-It's lovely on a tomato and cuke salad too.

erin-Figs aren't as plentiful on the East Coast, but I know you can get them. Trader Joe's sells good ones, and I'm sure Whole Foods has good ones too.

jennifurla-If you'd like more baking ideas, check out my recipe archive. Under "cakes and pies," I've got two lovely fig cake recipes.

joanne-I always knew we'd be great friends. ;)

anna-Funny you should mention melon. I used that mint vinaigrette on a melon and fresh corn salad last night. It was so light and refreshing. Enjoy!

steve-Thanks for all of your tips! No wonder the ants love them -- they're so sweet and sticky. I also love your reminder about thanking the farmer. :)

ramblingtart-See what I mean? It's contagious!

mykitchenintherockies-WIth spinach and almonds? Oh, I've got to try that. Thanks for the delicious idea!

suzanne-Since figs are highly perishable, they're also hard to transport. But you might want to check an online source such as Melissas. Everyone should experience the bliss of eating a fresh fig!

michelle-They are naturals together.

sues-I love the fall too!

cakelaw-Thank you! Their flavor really shines in it.

meeta-A whole big bag? That's what I like to hear!

val-I'm sure with all the great markets in Vancouver you'll be able to find some burrata. Good luck!

Tasty Eats At Home said...

I think I might have involuntarily licked my lips while reading this post. I love figs. LOVE them. And they're around for such a brief time too! Your salad is lovely.

Jane said...

We never get figs that beautiful here on the East Coast. This is just another thing I can use to bug my husband to move to Calif. for! He LOVES figs and would go crazy for this salad with the burrata cheese.

Serena said...

What gorgeous pictures. I love figs for making jam and now I have another idea with this cool fig salad.

Debbie said...

I love, love, love my fig tree. We get figs from it every August so our season has past. Not much can top a good fig. My grandfather had 6 fig trees and I would literally wait anxiously all summer in anticipation of all the figs we'd have!!!!

Unknown said...

We never get figs here in Trinidad but I have coveted this fruit so long on other blogs that I can almost imagine how good they taste. One of the joys of food blogging is learning about new foods. Disadvantage not being able to access them in your part of the world:-(

The Food Hunter said...

What a cool salad. I would never have come up with that combo. I can't wait to try it

The Teacher Cooks said...

What a gorgeous salad!

Cara said...

I just bought fresh figs for the very first time last week - and it turns out I love them! I hope the fig season doesn't fly by too quickly so I can crank out some more ideas on how to use them. Pairing with tomatoes - never would have thought of that!

natural selection said...

Excellent suggestions here! and makes me miss sunny Coronado! I was just in Washington DC eating delicious figs wrapped in Iberico ham from Spain not to be missed!

Sara@OneTribeGourmet said...

Lovely Salad! I recently started using California Fresh Figs and Love them!!! :)

Holly Keegan said...

Here in DC it's as though a switch was flipped and we went from 100 degrees and humid to 80 and dry just in time for Labor Day weekend. I love it. And I love this salad idea. The little tomatoes look like miniature watermelons. Lately I've been addicted to peach and heirloom tomato salad with feta, basil and balsamic. This may pull me away though! Looks great.

Koek! said...

Ha! We're only going INTO summer here in SA – which means I'll soon be able to make your absolutely delicious-looking salad. Another winner.
Robyn x

Susan from Food Blogga said...

tastyeats-Hehe. :)

jane-Ha! You should use it. The figs are divine. In fact, my dad from RI just said yesterday, "We don't have figs like that here!"

serena-Thanks so much!

debbie-Your own fig tree? Lucky, lucky girl! They're positively ambrosial.

wizzy-You're so right. I love learning about new foods from blogs all over the world, but I don't like not being able to eat them! ;)

foodhunter-Well, you can just make this one then!

teachercooks-Thank you!

cara-Yay! Another fig lover! Your life will be much happier now. You just wait and see. :)

naturalselection-Figs and Spanish ham? Oh, yes, indeedy!

sara-I'm so happy to hear it! Welcome aboard!

holly-How about we switch? I'll be trying your peach and feta salad next!

koek-Ha! Enjoy! :)

sunita said...

Susan, figs make me happy too. i am yet to see them in our neck of the woods. Your salad is such a lovely way to use them :-)

Sprigs of Rosemary said...

I have a tough time finding figs in my little corner of the world. I sure would love to. What's a "almost-as-good-as-the-real-thing" dried version?

Susan from Food Blogga said...

sunita-They are happy food, indeed!

rosemary-I always used to buy dried figs at Italian specialty markets, but organic markets have a good selection too. Just keep in mind that dried figs are completely different than fresh. They're much harder and chewier, and the flavor is more concentrated.