Making Chutney out of Figs
I’m a condiment girl.
No that’s not a dirty thing.
I used to collect hot sauces. One year my mother gave me a humongous basket full of nothing but condiments and hot sauces.
One of my best gifts ever. Easily.
Chutney’s are a must in my house and this one is first for me.
Let’s start with a few fig facts (say fig facts five times fast).
Figs are high in natural and simple sugars, minerals and fibre. They contain good levels of potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and manganese. Dried figs contain an impressive 250mg of calcium per 100g, compared to whole milk with only 118mg.
Unfortunately figs are only in season for a matter of weeks and even then they need to be eaten or cooked quickly as they ripen very fast. My favourite way to eat fresh figs is with a soft cheese, a bit of spicy pepper sauce all on top of a whole grain cracker.
These were quickly becoming too ripe to eat so I decided to make a chutney and jar it so that we could enjoy it for a week or two.
2 red onions finely diced
3 tbsp of olive oil
8 medium to large figs
4 tbsp packed brown sugar
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
Caramalize your diced onions in the olive oil. Do you know how to make caramelized onions? Heat a large frying pan and then add oil. The oil should thin and spread quickly. Add onions and very slowly sauté on low heat until they become a sort of caramel brown and buttery soft. The heat should never be high enough for the onions to dry out since the whole point is the bring out the sugars and have the juices thicken.
Once your onions are caramelized, add the rest of the ingredients and gently simmer until liquid has reduced to almost half.
Add mixture to a blender and just pulse until it comes together, be careful not to turn it into mush as it should have some consistency. I used a hand-held blender.
Place your chutney into a jar and refrigerate. If it looks like too much, you could always freeze half of the mixture.
One of the problems with condiments and especially chutney, is the sugar content. Normally a chutney is loaded with sugar much like jam or jelly but this whole jar only has 4 tbsp of brown sugar. Caramelizing the red onions and reducing the liquid really intensifies the flavours and I didn’t miss the sweetness one bit.
Try this with eggs, bbq chicken, grilled white fish, spread on a sandwich or served in a little bowl along with crackers and cheese.
What’s your favourite condiment?