When I was on holiday recently, I saw fig trees dotted across the Umbrian landscape. I kept looking for ripe figs, but without success. All very frustrating, as when I was on holiday in the French Pyrenees two years ago, the trees there were covered in deep purple figs that just fell off the tree into your hand. I guess that it’s just a lesson that if you want figs, you need to wait until the end of summer…
One rather curious thing about London is that you do come across a fair few fig trees. While I have yet to find one that actually yields ripe fruit, in warm weather, you still get that rich, sweet aroma of figs from their leaves. Walk past the National Portrait Gallery on the north side of Trafalgar Square or through many of London’s parks and you know what I mean.
Even if our local trees are holding out on me, the local fruit shop has come through. I have been buying quite a lot recently, either eating them raw, or using them as the basis of very simple desserts. Figs are great in a pie with a light custard filling, similar to an apricot tart, but as desserts go, it doesn’t get much easier than grilled figs, served with a spoonful of thick natural yoghurt.
• 1 ripe fig, quartered
• 1 teaspoon runny honey (I used orange blossom)
• 1 generous tablespoon natural Greek yoghurt
Lay the figs skin-side down on a heatproof dish and drizzle with the honey.
Grill on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until the figs are just starting to brown at the edges.
Remove from under the grill, transfer to a plate, and serve with the yoghurt. If any juice has leaked from the figs, drizzle over the yoghurt.