I first ate a fresh fig in Portugal at age 19. I loved them instantly. They are such a mysterious fruit with their interior jewel like appearance. Then, while living in Tunisia, I discovered the beautifully scented fig trees along the route I used to walk, near the president's palace. The trees give off a sweet smell that hangs heavy in the air and makes you nostalgic for things you've never known.
Every year I look forward to seeing fresh figs arrive in the market. Figs are so versatile, lending themselves well to both sweet and savory uses. They are wonderful eaten by themselves, paired with prosciutto or cheese, baked in a tart with chocolate and almonds, sliced on a simple bed of greens with oil and balsamic vinegar and a sprinkling of goat cheese. It almost seems like a crime to throw them into a blender for a milk shake. But they are plentiful and inexpensive right now, at least in Italy, so I thought I'd give it, or them, a whirl...
In case you are new to figs, they are pretty perishable when fresh. If you are not going to eat them the day you buy them, (considering they are ripe) store them in the refrigerator. I always peel my figs, easy to do when they are very ripe, you can peel them by hand. Otherwise, a sharp pairing knife does the trick.
In a blender, combine:
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon honey
This would make a nice popsicle too. I forgot to add, Roman really loves figs. He digs his hand in and scoops out all the flesh. He thinks figs make a nice leave-in hair conditioner too.