BACKYARD FIGS WITH GREEK YOGURT, MARCONA ALMONDS + HONEY

I went swimming with my mom on Sunday morning. (Well, technically it wasn't exactly swimming, but I did submerge myself in the Pacific and loll around in the waves for a while.) This may seem like a perfectly normal thing to do if one imagines the Hollywood version of California, all sunshine and palm trees. But the Bay Area doesn't meet this tropical vision. Ours is the land of fog, chilly summers and icy waters. Too much of a wuss about the cold, I (until Sunday) had never dipped more than a toe into the water in the 35 years I've lived in Northern California. Paul, on the other hand, surfs regularly. And our kids - Lilah a self proclaimed penguin and Otis who never seems to get cold - have swum many times, but not I.  I've happily stayed on shore, usually bundled in sweaters and scarves, watching everyone frolic in the surf. Even swathed in a wetsuit the waters are seriously chilly, but this time, I was determined to try something new. I have to say, it felt invigorating and life affirming to move beyond my comfort zone even in this tiny way.

A dip into unknown waters seems an apropos metaphor for my life at the moment. Since sending my book into the world last month, I feel as though I'm taking the plunge on a daily basis. I'm connecting with new people every day... Hosting a big party for my community. Teaching classes. Giving talks. Sitting on panels. Doing book signings. Giving interviews. It's all new for me. Despite my introverted leanings, I'm trying to approach this adventure with an open mind and heart and so far I've been blown away by the warmth and generosity I've encountered. When someone meets me with a smile and shares a story about their own love of cooking or even how my book might be bringing a little extra joy to their kitchens, I'm blown away and filled with gratitude.

As I pondered what recipe to share today, at first I imagined something elaborate and celebratory, but after I took a few quiet moments to breathe and reflect on what my body is craving these days, I realized that once again I'm inspired by the simple goodness that the season has to offer. Our backyard fig tree is bursting with huge juicy fruit and I thought I would let nature's exuberance mark this occasion by letting the figs shine in their own delicious way. Today's recipe isn't really a recipe at all, but an acknowledgment that if we take a moment to a look around and appreciate the magic that nature has to offer, we'll be met with great reward.

INGREDIENTS per serving
  • 2-4 fresh ripe figs, sliced
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • a handful of salted, roasted Marcona almonds
  • a drizzling of honey

You can serve juicy figs with creamy Greek yogurt, honey and salty crunchy Marcona almonds - these delicious companions - for breakfast of course, but this dish also makes a wonderful afternoon pick-me-up or a not-too-sweet dessert. The layers of texture and flavor are heavenly!


It seems as though I'm not the only fig-lover out there.... Here are some other delicious fig recipes from around the web:

Phyllis's Fig and Blue Cheese Tart
Cheryl's Fig Leaf Ice Cream
Laura's Dark Chocolate Fig Cinnamon Buns
Stacy's The Wonder of the Fig
Sarah's No churn Fig + Coffee Ice Cream
Kathryn's Fig and Almond Torte
Elizabeth's Fig and Cantaloupe Salad
Kasey's Yogurt, Mascarpone and Fig Tartlets 
Carolyn's Brown Butter Almond Tea Cakes with Figs






58 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post, Erin. The photos are divine, and i love everything about the dish. I want to move to California just to have a fig tree in my backyard. sigh.

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    1. Kristie, thank so much. It may not be all beaches and palm trees, but it's true... California living is pretty darned good.
      xoxo
      E

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  2. A beautiful and refined fig dessert! Lovely pictures too.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. Thanks Rosa! Hope you're well. xoxo E

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  3. It's so nice to read about your success with your lovely book :) Are there any plans to translate it into German?

    And thanks a lot for that gorgeous recipe with the figs... i love them, but i usually eat them just like that - my mother-in-law has a huge tree in her garden in Tunisia :)

    I never tasted them with honey, but it seems delicious :)

    Have a lovely evening and lots of greetings from Vienna!
    Salma

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    1. Salma! I know that the book us for sale on Amazon Germany but I don't know of any plans for it to be translated. Sorry about that:(
      I bet the Tunisian figs are incredible. Try the honey next time... It's a delicious friend to the figs.
      Xoxo
      E

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  4. Erin, I'm so envious of your "backyard figs". So wonderful!

    The dish sound delicious. And yes, our water may not be warm, but it is breathtakingly beautiful, I think.

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    1. Joyti, I agree... Our waters are beautiful, even if they're freezing;)
      Come over for figs! Seriously. If you send me an email, you could come over to harvest.
      Xoxo
      E

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  5. What a great post from the heart! Wonderful to meet you at your book signing - after so many years of being virtual friends. I adore figs, I mean LOVE figs. I make a wonderful balsamic fig jam that is a hit at many parties. I will have to add some figs to my daily greek yogurt that I enjoy - sometime the simple things in life are the best! Cheers!

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    1. Lisa! I loved meeting you too after all these years. Thank you so much for coming to the party:)))
      Have you ever swirled your jam into Greek yogurt? It's so tasty!
      Xoxo
      E

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  6. Love this "non-recipe". It's beautiful and sounds so delicious! Glad you took the plunge. I lived in the Bay Area for 4 years and probably only went in the ocean once! It's soooooo chilly!

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  7. Liz, that chill is intimidating isn't it? But I'm determined to take that plunge more often. I went paddle boarding in So Cal for the first time this summer and fell in love. I'm determined to try it here up north too. Baby steps:)
    Xoxo
    E

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  8. How can you make figs and yogurt look so beautiful! I was in the sea too last week, it was very bracing!

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    1. Anna, "Bracing" is a perfect term for the chilly Pacific;) It is invigorating though isn't it?
      xoxo
      E

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  9. This may sound crazy to many but I've never tried fresh figs. But I am inspired by this simple combination. I have an autumn cottage wkd with my sisters planned and I know what I'm bringing for dessert. Hope I can find a case of figs at the market here. In canada we don't have the luxury of backyard figs, although I know someone who grows a potted one indoors.
    Looking forward to trying this- thank you.

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    1. Cred, I don't think you're alone... fresh figs are not the most common ingredient - they are so perishable and their season fleeting. I hope you can get your hands on some this weekend... they really are a treat! Enjoy your weekend with your sisters:)
      xo
      E

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  10. Hi Erin, what a thoughtful post, so glad your enjoying life outside your comfort zone must feel quite different. How lucky you are to have a fig tree in your backyard, love them!

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    1. Cheri, thanks! I'm trying:)
      xoxo
      E

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  11. I have trees bursting with figs, too. Will put this recipe to work ASAP. Beautiful images, as usual.

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    1. Katie, I think this is the best year we've ever had for figs... you?
      xoxo
      E

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  12. Started following you, and so much fun, after seeing you on the Diane Dorrans Saeks blog ( she included our house in her book California Country Style)
    Looking forward to your "yummy" way with food!

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    1. Josephine, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a note for me. And how wonderful of Diane to connect us:)
      xo
      Erin

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  13. Your photos make my mouth water! I am following you and enjoying your posts! I remember picking figs in Greece! YUM

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    1. Judee, thanks so much for stopping by:) Figs from Greece... now that's heaven. xoxox E

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  14. Alice ElliotSeptember 17, 2014

    The fig tree in my son's yard makes huge yellow "tennis ball" figs. I think they're Calmyrna? They ripen and fall and rot so quickly that truthfully we hate them! Any advice for using them? Wishing they were those lovely purple beauties.

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    1. Alice, are your son's figs tasty? If they have good flavor, you might want to preserve them. I love fig jam with honey and bay... Check my archive and you'll find a nice recipe.
      xo
      E

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  15. So envious about your backyard fig tree. What a glorious thing to have. With figs, often the simplest way of eating them is best. It really lets the fig's wonderful qualities shine through then.

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    1. Carolyn, if you lived on this side of the bay, I'd say you should come and harvest. We have way more than we need;)
      xoxo
      E

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  16. YES to simplicity and fresh produce and FIGS! Tis the season. Hope you're well and enjoying a wonderful September XOXO

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    1. I bet you guys had some amazing figs on Folegandros. The tree were packed with little green baby figs when we were there in July and I imagine that all those beauties are ripe now.
      I'm so glad to see you guys had fun. I love that place.
      xoxox
      E

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  17. I drag my feet when it comes to trying new things, but I'm always so glad I did it once it happens. Your chilly swim sounds like fun! We have lots of local figs here, although none in my own yard. The season always seems to sneak up on me. Love this simple, lovely way to serve them.

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    1. Lisa, it's so easy to drag our feet isn't it? Sometimes I don't even notice that I'm doing it. On Sunday I started to head to the beach in my normal ( non-swimming) attire and I suddenly thought... I have a wetsuit this time, what's my excuse not to take a dip. I'm so glad I did.
      Happy September to you!
      xoxo
      E

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  18. I loved this post! Gosh the Bay Area ocean waters sound like the Oregon Coast. Absolutely frigid. Did you really dip yourself in there?! Go girl! One of the highlights of my birthday this week was not, in fact, leaving my twenties behind, but being gifted with your beautiful book, Erin! We LOVED the peach French toast sandwiches and I am looking forward to trying so many more recipes! So excited for you, too!

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    1. Ah that makes me so happy to hear that you got my book for your big day! And happy birthday to you! xoxoxo E

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  19. I love the idea of a dip in the Pacific being a metaphor for all the new and exciting things in your life right now! It must be a crazy journey but I'm so glad that it's one that is filling your heart with so much joy. Love the simplicity of this recipe too - just what I'm always craving.

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    1. Kathryn, yep it's a crazy journey for sure. I hit the road next week for my book tour and I know every day will feel like another dip into those unknown waters - an adventure for sure!
      I hope all of your travels to and from NYC are going well. It looks like you are having some tasty adventures yourself:)
      xoxo
      E

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  20. Oh Erin! When I saw backyard figs and marcona almonds, my heart did a little pitter patter. I have yet to jump into the greek yogurt pool (which isn't nearly as scary as freezing cold Pacific ocean) but I'm ready. Toss me into the deep end ;)

    PS. The warmth and generosity you've encountered is total karma. You're clearly attracting like energy.

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    1. Kristy, dive into the Greek yogurt pool... it will change your life it's so good! You may never even think of regular yogurt again - I know I don't;)
      Thanks lovely for the thoughts on karma...I'm touched.
      I hope you're hanging in. I'm thinking of you and your family.
      xoxo
      E

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  21. Erin, I am really happy for you, your book is truly beautiful! The recipe looks great, I'm only sad to share that my fig tree didn't resist the harsh winter we had but, we planted a new one and hopefully we'll get juice figs next year! lots of xx to you!

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    1. Najwa, thanks!
      I'm so sorry to hear about your fig:( We lost a little tangerine tree this year and it was heartbreaking. If your fig experience is anything like ours, your new tree will be huge before you know it.
      xoxo to you,
      E

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  22. I love how simple this recipe is! And so gorgeous, too. Congratulations again on the book!

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  23. What a beautiful combination of flavours!

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  24. The figs on my tree are almost ready and I can't wait to try this new combination!

    https://justsem.wordpress.com/

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    1. Isn't it the best to watch your fruit ripen! So exciting. Enjoy your figs:)

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  25. Hi Erin,
    Stumbled across your blog one lazy Sunday afternoon and it sent me back to a glorious sailing trip we had in Greece last year. This was with very dear friends of ours who are Greek heritage, speak fluent Greek and we visited their villages & families in the Dodecanese Islands. One of my most lasting & powerful images I have is of a very elderly local man with a wicker basket full of fresh figs in a little village square. After buying a bag of the plumpest figs imaginable and also armed with his lemons we then made the very BEST fig salad - of course the location and the experience contributed my intense memories.
    Thank you so much for taking me back to that moment - I can still see my little man in the village square with his basket of figs .............

    Cheers
    Alison

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    1. Alison, thank you for this amazing note! I am half Greek and have a huge fondness for the place, and I can thank my love of Greece for my love of figs as well. Your story transported me to the islands - a sunny dose of escape this gray Monday morning. I can picture your elderly fig harvester now...
      Thank you!

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  26. Great recipe, there are lots of fig growers where we live, Saltspring Island, BC, Canada. Can't wait to try this next fig season. We are also the west coast, on the pacific but our little bay, where we live is the warmest on the island. Lots of swimming come July and August.

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    1. Judith, Saltspring Island sounds heavenly! And I'm guessing you eat really well with all that fertile land and clean waters... yum!
      xo
      E

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  27. Beautiful post! It's amusing how much we seem to crave consistency in our lives yet how refreshing a spontaneous moment ends up being for us. : )

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    1. Shelly so true! I guess that's the rub... we crave and need consistency, but that does of newness is so important too.
      xo
      E

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  28. Delicious - simple and perfect. I DO love figs - thank you for including me here! Your comments in your book about your backyard fig tree definitely did not escape my notice, and this looks like a beautiful bounty. How divine to have this amazing fruit at hand!

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    1. Stacy! I'm enjoying every fig while the season lasts! If you need any figs, feel free to come by for a little harvesting.
      Thanks again for coming to my popsicle party! Sorry we didn't get to talk more. I'd still love to meet up sometime.
      xoxo
      E

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  29. I love this recipe as I adore figs. I have been making bruschette with figs non stop for the past month.
    I'm so pleased to hear about the success of your book, Erin, and all the places it has taken you to. You deserve all the best! Enjoy it!

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    1. Magda, fig bruschetta sound so good right now. Maybe with a little fresh ricotta and thyme... I think I know what I'm making for breakfast:)
      xoxox
      E

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  30. So delicious and simple! Would love to have some sweet ricotta on top of puff pastry with it. YUM!

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    1. Figs, sweet ricotta and puff pastry... sounds like a killer combo:)

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So good to hear from you... I appreciate each and every note you leave for me!

Thanks,
E

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