(Family Features) If you're looking for a main dish recipe that will wow your guests, there's a secret ingredient you should know about. Inside its soft velvety skin, and wrapped in a slightly spicy aroma, is a honey-like sweetness with a subtle berry flavor that many cooks find extraordinary. What is it? The fig.
Figs, both fresh and dried, offer a unique flavor that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Their intense sweetness is well complemented by tangy balsamic or sherry vinegars, salty cured meats such as ham and prosciutto, roasted meats, and warm herbs and spices such as rosemary, thyme, cinnamon and cardamom.
Figs aren't only rich in flavor, they're rich in nutrients. They bring antioxidants and all-important dietary fiber with every delicious bite. Available year-round, California Dried Figs are ready to eat right out of the package or are easily diced, sliced or poached for cooking and baking.
In this recipe for Fig-Cocoa Glazed Beef Tenderloin, Chef Robert Del Grande creatively used dried figs to create a spicy-sweet steak sauce to serve alongside the roasted tenderloin enveloped in an intriguing fig and cocoa glaze. While the dish is impressive, it's not hard to make - and it will make any get-together an occasion to remember.
For more dried fig recipes and tips, visit www.californiafigs.com.