Remember this nursery rhyme?: "To market, to market to buy a fat pig, home again home again jiggety jig"
Well, my mother always used to say "home again, home again jiggety jig" whenever we returned home from a drive somewhere. In fact, she says it to this day. It has stuck with me through the years, and now as a mom I find myself repeating this jingle to our children! But, of course my vegan friendly version is "... to buy a fresh fig".
And here we have oven-roasted figs, deliciously and simply prepared from a small basket of fresh figs. Have you seen figs at your market and not sure if you'd eat them? Well, I'm not the biggest admirer of figs in fresh form... at least not to eat as a piece of fresh fruit. But... try roasting these babies... oh YEAH! The figs intensify in flavor, and become so incredibly sweet through the caramelizing during roasting that they are like candies. Candies that you eat with your dinner!
I've done this a few times recently, and will share the method with you - since it's more a method than a recipe. Use a small basket of fresh figs. Here you see one cut in half. Isn't it pretty? Cut all the figs into 1/4's, and then again into 1/8'ths if you like (smaller pieces will roast more quickly). This will be about 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups once sliced into small wedges. Line a baking sheet with parchment and preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Toss figs with about 1/2 tbsp oil (enough to coat) and about 1/8 tsp of salt (don't forget the salt!). Pop in oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes, baking longer for chewier, crisper roasted figs, or less for softer roasted figs. For me, I like them roasted longer with some chewiness.
Serve how you like... as shown above drizzled with a touch of balsamic vinegar and a few torn basil leaves. Or, toss into a salad... or sprinkle on a savory tofu, tempeh, or seitan dish... or top a soup with a few... or just nibble on their roasted goodness! The sweetness of the figs pairs nicely with a savory/salty dish, but they are so tasty you may not be able to get past nibbling on them!
Note: Fresh figs don't last long. Refrigerate them after buying. Then you might have 2-3 days tops before they start to deteriorate. No worries though, you can roast up those figs lickety split!