As a kid, I didn’t know what a fig was besides the filling of a fig newton. And I only had negative feelings toward fig newtons- how could they be put in the dessert aisle? They were far too healthy looking and tasting. Now that I’ve reached the ripe old age of 25, I have a much deeper appreciation and fondness for figs. These little gems are delicious in many forms- roasted with balsamic, sliced and served with crackers and cheese, wrapped in bacon, and best of all, made into jam. This was my first “jamming” experience, but it will most certainly not be my last!
My initial inspiration for the combination of rosemary and fig came from a recipe on Pinterest I came across a couple of months ago. However, I also wanted to incorporate some other ideas I had including the addition of the sweet brandy flavor as well as whole rosemary leaves and lemon zest in the jam. Many recipes I’ve seen use dried figs, and this does speed up the process but I can assure you fresh figs make this extra delicious. Due to the cost of figs and my lack of interest in the whole canning process, this recipe only makes one small jar of jam, but a little bit goes a long way. The lemon’s acidity keeps the jam fresh for longer too, so you could definitely make more and save it to use with crackers and cheese or on your Sunday morning french toast!
The possibilities for using this jam are obviously endless, but I decided it’s first appearance would be as the “gourmet” in my favorite lunchtime classic- the sandwich. Sandwiches have been a staple in my family since the beginning of time (well my time at least). I can’t remember ever going on a family outing or vacation without the sandwich production line in the morning and then someone asking in the car, “Who has the sandwiches??” My love for sandwiches has only grown stronger, not that I’ve outgrown PB&J and grown into using condiments such as caramelized onions, tapenade, or FIG JAM. And now that I’m back in school, I need delicious lunchbox treats like this to get me through the day!
I based the rest of the ingredients in this sandwich on the fig jam and what would compliment it best – tart green apple, roasted turkey, and bitter arugula. This sandwich combines sweet, salty, tart, and spicy all in one. The optional mayo and/or cheese also adds a bit of creaminess, which is always a nice addition but not necessary and definitely a bit less healthy- so I’ll leave that one up to you. Any kind of bread works here- I made one with ciabatta and one with an oat nut sandwich bread- and I think I actually preferred the old-fashioned sliced bread because the tastes of the fillings were more pronounced. Choose your own adventure and happy lunching!
Rosemary Fig Jam Ingredients:
- 1 pint ripe figs (about 10)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup brandy
- zest from 1/2 lemon and 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves chopped coarsely
Sandwich Ingredients (for 1):
- 2 slices of bread or ciabatta roll halved
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise (optional)
- 1/4 cup rosemary fig jam
- 2-3 oz roasted turkey slices
- 3 round slices of granny smith apple
- 1/2 cup arugula
- Goat Cheese or Brie (optional)
- dash of salt and pepper
Fig Jam Directions:
- Chop figs in quarters or just coarsely chop.
- Place fig pieces in small bowl with honey, brandy, lemon, and rosemary. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour fig mixture in small saucepan on the stove and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking.
- Note: cooking time will vary depending on how thick you want the jam, and you may want to mash the figs with a fork or potato masher as they cook and the mixture reduces.
- Remove from heat and pour into jar- let cool completely and store in refrigerator.
Sandwich Directions (This is pretty self explanatory but just in case):
- Toast bread, if desired.
- Spread mayo evenly on each slice of bread and then spread jam on each slice.
- Place apple, turkey, and arugula on the sandwich. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Close sandwich.
- Enjoy immediately or wrap it up, stick it in your lunchbox, and enjoy later!