I know, I know! The figs aren’t local. The cherry tomatoes and blueberries are, at least. I actually do know two people in the city with fig trees, but these figs are not from those trees. They’re from California, and they’re ripe and affordable and so tempting. The first time I had a fig was in New York. I never even knew they were a real fruit. I’d only seen dried ones before – chewy, rubbery pieces that tasted a little like bad cough syrup. But a fresh fig…They’re so good for you, the insides of the dark ones are beautiful, they’re aphrodisiac, they’re light, refreshing, and the texture is completely unique – a little fibrous so you can actually chew and savour the fruit.
It actually got to the point where I went out for dinner once to one of my favourite restaurants, and was served an underripe fig on the side of an appetizer plate. I’m a big believer that everything on the plate should be eaten and should make the dish better. And here was a fig, out of season, sitting there as though no one would actually ever consider eating it. It was as though the kitchen staff had never had a ripe one themselves and figured figs are for garnish only. No one would actually eat the taste-less fruit.
But this is summer in all its beauty, and while figs don’t often grow in the same places as blueberries (very different soil types, generally, I think), it’s a lovely combination – acid from the tomatoes, simple sweetness from the figs, and a little more earthiness from the wild blueberries. You can have have blueberries that are more or less acidic, too, and tomatoes run the gamut, so every time you put these three fruit together it could be completely different. I like this with just a tiny bit of lemon juice to cut through the sweetness of the fig. It kind of makes all the fruit flavours a little brighter by contrast of the acidity of the lemon.
And isn’t it beautiful?
2 ripe, dark figs (or green ones, but the dark ones are great for aesthetics), sliced
a handful cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup wild blueberries
1-2 tsp lemon juice
1. Combine fruit on plate. 2. Sprinkle over lemon juice. 3. Don’t think about winter.