Let fig season inspire a simple, fruit-forward dessert you can whip up in moments: Sautéed Figs with Cinnamon and Almonds. Figs grow plentifully in Mediterranean climates, such as California, which is why I have a Mission fig tree growing in my back yard. If I’m not careful, the deer will harvest those ripe figs before I get a chance, they are so treasured in my garden. I’ve also seen figs growing wild in Greece and other parts of the Mediterranean—making up a very important part of that diet. They love the sunshine, and don’t need much fuss to grow. Figs come in many varieties—different colors, textures, shapes—and are one of nature’s most versatile fruits, pairing well in savory, as well as sweet dishes. Watch for fig season to arrive at your farmers market or supermarket in the late summer to early fall, and enjoy these luscious fruits when they are available.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy figs is just simply au naturel—bite into a ripe, juicy fruit (skin, seeds, and all) and savor each bite. But I also enjoy simply prepared fig dishes, where the fruit shines right through. This plant-based (vegan), gluten-free recipe is so easy, you can create it with only 5 ingredients (not including pantry staples) in under 15 minutes. The flavors of cinnamon, cardamom, and almonds pair with figs, extra virgin olive oil and wine to create this simple sautéed fruit compote. Sautéed Figs with Cinnamon and Almonds can be enjoyed on its own, but is equally delicious served over salad greens, with crackers and hummus, over pancakes, stirred into porridges, and atop plant-based vanilla ice cream. Make a big batch, then store it in an airtight container in the fridge to enjoy in your favorite dishes all week long.