In Season: Go Figure

Match figs with meat for some sumptuous holiday dishes such as lamb stuffed figs and beef carpaccio with figs.

Lamb stuffed figs  (photo credit: Boaz Lavi)
Lamb stuffed figs
(photo credit: Boaz Lavi)
Fresh figs are so good just as they are that you really don’t need to add anything to them. But they also lend their special texture and aroma to a variety of dishes, from salads and cheeses to cakes and desserts. We asked chef Roi Halevi of Meat restaurant in Haifa to create a few fig dishes suitable for a meat meal for an extra festive evening during the holidays.
Green salad and figs
✔ 6 large figs, quartered ✔ Mixed greens (use lettuce, arugula, watercress or a mixed-greens package) ✔ ½ package sprouts ✔ ¼ cup sunflower seeds, shelled For the dressing ✔ ¼ cup canola oil ✔ ¼ cup olive oil ✔ 3 Tbsp. honey ✔ ½ Tbsp. sugar ✔ Juice of 1 lemon ✔ 2 Tbsp. mustard ✔ 2 cloves garlic, minced ✔ Salt and black pepper
Roast seeds on a dry hot skillet until fragrant. Mix all the greens in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix all the dressing ingredients.
Add figs to the greens, pour dressing over the greens, toss, sprinkle with roasted seeds and serve.
Lamb stuffed figs
✔ 500 gr. figs ✔ 250 gr. ground lamb ✔ ¼ cup olive oil ✔ 1 onion, chopped ✔ 2 cloves garlic, minced ✔ Red paprika, pepper and salt ✔ ¼ cup red wine ✔ Rosemary leaves
Heat oven to 220°.
Mix together meat, olive oil, onion, garlic and seasonings.
Cut the figs in two lengthwise (from the stem) and place the halves on a lined baking sheet. Using a spoon, place a heap of meat on each fig half and press down. Drizzle wine on the fig halves and sprinkle with rosemary leaves. Place in the oven and bake about 20 minutes, until the wine evaporates and becomes sauce. Serve with fresh salad.
Beef carpaccio with figs
✔ 250 gr. fillet of beef ✔ Pinch each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper ✔ 1 chili pepper, scorched on open flame (optional) ✔ ½ red onion, very thinly sliced ✔ 5 purple figs, quartered ✔ 8 Tbsp. olive oil ✔ 2-3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Slice the beef against the grain as thinly as you can. Lay the paper-thin slices on a large plate in one layer. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Peel the chili pepper, chop and sprinkle over the meat. Arrange the figs and onion over the meat. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar and serve.
Roasted chicken with figs and honey
✔ 6 large chicken drumsticks ✔ 7 fresh figs ✔ 2 Tbsp. grape-seed oil or other vegetable oil ✔ 3 Tbsp. honey ✔ ⅓ cup dry red wine (best is Cabernet Sauvignon) ✔ 1 tsp. black pepper ✔ Salt
Preheat oven to 180°.
Wash and pat dry the chicken. Wash the figs and halve them.
Heat an oven-proof skillet on the stove over medium heat and add the grape-seed oil. When the oil is very hot, add the chicken and fry on all sides until browned. Lower the heat and squeeze the fig halves in between the chicken pieces. Using a tablespoon, pour the honey and wine over the chicken, making sure to cover all the pieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to the preheated oven. Roast for 45 minutes.
Recipes and photos courtesy of Meat restaurant in Haifa. Meat offers its customers excellent cuts of meat, treated professionally, aged under the best conditions and grilled in the middle of the restaurant, where customers can watch as their food is being prepared. The owners hand pick the best meat grown in the Golan Heights for their customers and also offer professionally smoked beef and lamb.
Meat, 129 Hanassi Blvd., Haifa. (04) 837- 3222