Fig, Goat Cheese and Walnut Bread

let's talk about fall food! but first, scroll down and sign up for my weekly emails so you never miss a single rant!

Figs are the most fun fall food because they're so fleeting.  It's a competition.  Not me against you, but you against the figs.

 ain't no product in sephora that could make you as pretty as these figs.

ain't no product in sephora that could make you as pretty as these figs.

The first time I tested this recipe, I used figs from a tree on the side of the road.  It was delicious.  Don't look at me like that, I'm a forager.  The second time, I couldn't get my hands on any local figs so I bought fresh Turkish black figs from a grocery store.  That time it was terrible.  The takeaway is obviously that roadside fruit trees are under-appreciated.

 if you want to use this as your screensaver i totally understand and i'm 100% willing to send you a high resolution copy.

if you want to use this as your screensaver i totally understand and i'm 100% willing to send you a high resolution copy.

The last time, I used fresh, local figs from my farmer's market and it was, like, dang good.  So my recommendation is to find a street tree or a kind older woman at your local farmer's market.  Do whatever feels right.

Let's agree not to romanticize fall, ok?  Fall is awesome because we can stop sweating profusely for the first time in 4 months.  That's why everyone likes it.  Period.  The end.

That and because of the food.  The theme of summer is basically just trying to convince yourself to actually, maybe, possibly eat something other than cold fruit and frozen desserts.  Fall is the best cooking season.  Pro tip:  Turn on your oven and crank up the stove top for some soup or something warm, and you'll never need to heat your house.

 even this picture looks warm.

even this picture looks warm.

This recipe qualifies as a quick bread, which means it is everything that I love.  It is a carb that can go into my face quickly, therefore indulging my worst (best?) character traits.  Let's not discuss.  Personally, I ate this for breakfast - reheated and dipped in my coffee and I figured it was basically the same as eating a fruit salad with granola.  Again, let's not discuss.

Sometimes I type things onto this page and then I think "oh shit, is that really what's going on in my mind?"  Do you ever get that way?  

The next thought, though, is that this bread also (mostly) came out of my brain, so I'm not all crazy.  At least not bad-crazy - I'm also bread-crazy. (heh)

 caramelization is my favorite word just so you know.

caramelization is my favorite word just so you know.

fig, goat cheese, and walnut bread

  • 3/4 cup greek yogurt (or buttermilk)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 cups fresh figs, quartered
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (halves or pieces)
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese
  • 1 tbsp muscovado sugar (or raw sugar, or brown sugar)

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease an 8- or 10-inch cast iron skillet or cake pan.  Set aside.

Whisk together yogurt, brown sugar, olive oil, and eggs in a medium bowl.

In another bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Add dry ingredients to wet, and stir just until combined.  Fold in walnuts and most of the figs, reserving about 8 fig piece.  Pour batter into your skillet and spread it out.

Place the leftover figs on top, pressing lightly to settle them into the batter.  Place chunks of the goat cheese in between the figs, then sprinkle the sugar over all of it. 

Bake for 35-40 minutes (less if you're not using a cast iron skillet), or until a knife comes out clean from the center.

Cool for 10-15 minutes and then FACEPLANT.

Do it your way:  You could also probably use pears, plums or any other type of fall fruit (or leave it out).  You could leave out the goat cheese or put more in, or use a different nut.  Think of this batter as the canvas upon which to paint your fall quick bread portrait.