Fig leaf: can we eat fig leaves? Are fig leaves edible? Yes, they are edible and generally used for steaming, baking or grilling. Dried, they can be boiled to make tea. They make a great wrap for steamed fish or rice and vegetables and can also be added to stews or soups as an alternative to spinach. We are going to see all the benefits that can be drawn from it before presenting you with some recipes.
Fig leaf: what to do with fig leaves?
What smell, what perfume comes from the fig tree! The ripe, gooey, greedy fruits are edible and even long gone and now, today, the profits are taken from the leaves. In an average year, hundreds of sweet, juicy figs are normally harvested from three mature trees in the garden. When the harvest is bad, you have to rely on the other edible parts of the runaway tree and especially the leaves (but not only)!
Preserve the bad and small fruits of the fig tree!
Besides, this is the perfect time to save some of their goodness so you can continue to enjoy them throughout the winter months. Let’s start with the figs themselves, most trees will still hold dark green, walnut-sized fruits that didn’t come to fruition earlier in the year.
Pick ’em, rub ’em, dip ’em, boil ’em, and bottle ’em in sugar syrup and you’ll have jars of unctuously sweet treats all year round. Serve candied figs with cheese platters and biscuits.
Save the runaway leaves! Do not throw them away!
As for the leaves – they are surprisingly versatile and can be used in culinary delights.
Use of fig leaves
Just as you can use lovage leaves to wrap cheese, you can do the same with fig leaves. Wrapping the cheese means that the flavor of the grass is imparted to the cheese over time. Fig leaves go well with a full-bodied goat cheese. Wrap the cheese in dry leaves and tie them with twine. Enjoy a week later.
Make it into syrup
Mix sugar and water in a ratio of 50:50 or 250 ml of water for 250 g of sugar. Put the mixture in a saucepan and heat until the sugar melts while stirring. Throw in four or five fig leaves and let them steep until the syrup tastes the way you want it. Remove the leaves once the flavor is as intense as desired.
Be careful, the syrup takes a long time to cool. Once cooled, it is ready to be bottled in a sterilized jar. Store in the fridge and use in cocktails, drizzle over ice cream and pancakes and use in salad dressings.
It’s a great way to store the leaves so you can use them all year round. You can either do it in the oven – place the leaves on a baking sheet and dry in a preheated 100°C oven until they start to curl and the veins are golden – or in a dehydrator ( 55°C for 90 minutes). Store in an airtight container, then use them to make syrups, ice creams and salad dressings throughout winter and spring when fresh leaves are not available.
Recipe including fig leaf
Salmon cooked in fig leaves
They work wonderfully with salmon. Wrap the salmon fillets in/with it – this keeps the fish moist and also adds a coconut flavor to the fish. To cook the fillets, season with salt and pepper and use enough fresh fig leaves to completely wrap the salmon. Overlap them if necessary.
Bake in a roasting tin in a preheated oven at 200°C for about 10 minutes. The leaves will start to blister and the salmon should be just cooked through. Serve with the accompaniments of your choice. Just to get an idea, serve with buttered new potatoes, some salicornia and lemon sauce.
Fig leaf ice cream
The flavors of the leaves paired with creamy ice cream are a perfect match.
- 5 fresh or dried fig leaves
- 250ml whole milk
- 250 ml fresh cream
- 3 egg yolks
- 87 g caster sugar
- Use dry leaves. How to dry them? See above or follow the instructions again: heat the oven to 100°C, place the leaves on a baking sheet and heat until the leaves begin to curl and the veins begin to brown.
- Take a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat the milk and cream along with the fig leaves over low heat until the mixture begins to boil (take care not to let it boil).
- In a bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks.
- Pour a little of the warm milk and cream mixture over the egg mixture, whisking continuously.
- Return the mixture to the saucepan and continue cooking over low heat until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon, stirring constantly.
- Pour this custard mixture through a sieve into a clean bowl and allow to cool. Place in the refrigerator until cold.
- Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze once set. If making by hand, place the mixture in an airtight container and freeze for an hour, then blend in a food processor. Freeze for another two hours and mix again, do it one more time after another two hours and put it back in the freezer.