Healthier Chocolate Lovers Sweet Corn and Hazelnut Crunch Chocolate Cake w/Ganache.
So how do you feel about figs? A little different, right?
I’m not really sure if figs are a popular fruit, or one of those fruits that totally get ignored. I am thinking ignored??
Up until a few months ago I was completely scared of them. I pretty much just thought they were creepy, and to be honest, I only thought about them around Christmas. Yes, I used to only associates figs with figgy pudding.
Oh, and I have to admit, I did just listen to “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” just to make sure that’s the “figgy pudding” song. Ok, and I kind of wanted a little Christmas cheer mid summer. Don’t hate me.
A while back (like early spring) I accidentally bought dried figs. Well, it was not actually me, it was my dad who was helping me out and doing a late night grocery run for me. I asked for dates and he brought me back figs. UGH. I was like, “what am I supposed to do with dried figs? Eew”. I really had no idea, but I figured since I had them I might as well try them.
At first I was turned off by their texture, but then for some reason I tried another one and the figs began to grow on me. I can’t say I would ever choose figs as snack all on their own, but I realized I did like them.
Fast forward to the present. The other day I was trying to get my creative juices flowing, and suddenly the thought of a fig dish really excited me.
It’s weird how I can be completely uninterested in a certain food one day and the next be all “Oh I really want to make a fig dish today”. Figs are a late summer through fall fruit, so they should be in stores now or coming to your stores soon. I however, had to drive around to three stores, finally ending up at Whole Foods where they fortunately, had the most gorgeous turkish figs. I spent all morning trying to find them, but it was worth it. Plus, I do feel lucky that I actually found them and that my small town recently put in a Whole Foods. I love the whole “small town” thing, but I gotta say, sometimes Whole Foods saves the day.
I really wanted to create an easy meal that people who may not even like figs could enjoy. See, figs to my family are like kale to a five-year old. They want nothing to do with them. But me being me, I really wanted to prove them wrong. I went with my little fig idea and paired it with two of their favorites, polenta and tomatoes. It’s honestly the perfect little Italian meal. You can make it now – in the summer, but it’s also a great transition meal into fall. Perfect way to use up the last of your home-grown cherry tomatoes. YUM.
I went with pork for this dish because I really just wanted to step away from the chicken for a second and be a little bold. And balsamic fig glazed pork just had a nice ring to it, so I went with it. I am all about recipe names having a nice ring to them. Feel free to use chicken, steak or even beans (chickpeas or cannellini) for a vegetarian version.
The tomatoes came into play because I had so many of them, and blistered tomatoes sounded like a pretty good idea with sweet balsamic.
The polenta is kind of predictable for me, but I really just love polenta. Sorry, I can’t help it.
Oh and the gorgonzola. It just has so much flavor and I love pairing it with sweet and savory things. It’s the perfect balance.
If you are not a fan of gorgonzola swap parmesan, goat cheese or fontina. If figs are just not your cup of tea you can either leave them out completely or swap peaches, nectarines or cherries. You just want something sweet that can stand up to some heat.
If you are not sure how you feel about figs, just give them a try in this dish. I think you will be surprised. My picky family loved them, well… at least my parents loved them. The boys weren’t home, but even if they were home, I doubt I would have been able to coax them into trying them. Although… the figs really blend in well with the pork. The balsamic glaze makes it really difficult to differentiate the pork from the figs. My parents didn’t even realize there were figs in there until I told them mid-way through the meal. Hmmm, maybe I could have gotten away with it!
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Balsamic glazed pork and figs, aside blistered cherry tomatoes and creamy gorgonzola polenta, all topped with pine nuts. See, different can be good!
Hi Tieghan, made this last night…… delicious!!!!
Im in Australia so figs are out of season at the moment so used dried figs. Had goats cheese in the fridge so substituted the gorgonzola… So good. Will definitely we on the repeat list. Thank you for all your great recipes and LOVE your Instagram reels.
Cheers from Oz
Amazing!! I am so glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it and sharing your feedback:)
Hey! Trying this tonight! When you saw pork chops sliced thin…should I just tenderize until thin? Or do you actually slice thin pieces from the chop or tenderloin before cooking? If so, how thin? Thanks!!! Love ALL your recipes.
You will want to slice thin as if you were cutting chicken, if that makes more sense! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx
I tried it and it was a hit! I cut the tenderloin into medallion pieces, as with 6 minutes on high heat and then leaving in the pan to warm, I didn’t want to overcook the pork. It was the right move! If I had sliced much thinner, it would have been over cooked. The polenta was amazing, too.
Happy Sunday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for trying it out! xTieghan
Made this tonight with venison instead of pork and it was amazing. The sauce is easy and packed with flavors. Two thumbs up from my family.
Happy Friday!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xxT
This was the best!
Family saying please save this one!
It was so good!!
I substituted the fig with dates as I didn’t have any and the verdict was this was the best meal you ever you have made!
Thanks So much!
Family raving about this one and you have such a way of combining flavours that just melt in your mouth!
Hi Suzi! Thanks so much for trying out this recipe, so glad you enjoyed it! 🙂 xTieghan
This was delicious and exactly what I needed to use pantry ingredients before they went off.
I subbed chicken breast for the pork, used the cherry tomatoes and herbs from my raised beds and fresh figs I almost forgot to use. The sauce did a great job of helping me cover up the fact that some of the figs were a tad mature. I used feta instead of Gorgonzola. It was easy and delicious.
Happy Wednesday! I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe, thanks for making it:) Thanks for sharing what worked well for you. xTieghan
This dish was amazing! I could not find fresh figs so I grabbed fig sauce from the cheese section, added balsamic and water to it to create an AMAZING sauce!
Also, I made the polenta in my instant pot (added water, salt and polenta, cooked for 10 minutes on the oatmeal setting) then finished it off with the cheese. This is the only way Ill make polenta from now on. It was soooooooo easy.
This dish was delish!!!!
Thanks a bunch for giving the recipe a try, I am so glad it was enjoyed! xTieghan
It’s getting a little rough writing these 5 star reviews, Tieghan. I made this recipe tonight, and because I was worried people would be skeptical, I didn’t say anything about the figs. It was a blast to watch as one by one everyone tried it, my parents, my husband, and each exclaimed, “Figs? I don’t think I’ve ever had fresh figs. This is amazing!” Once again, the depth of flavors was stellar. I’m not sure I would’ve ever thought of figs with tomatoes and Gorgonzola polenta. Honestly, this was one of the best things I’ve made in ages. Another HBH huge hit!
Wow yes!! I am so glad this turned out so amazing for you all, Josie! Thank you so much! xTieghan
i made this tonight and it was legit the best thing I’ve made in a long time. so delicious!!
one question (bc I’ll definitely be making this again w the copious amount of figs from our tree) — when you take the pork out to cook the figs do you remove all the sauce too or do you drizzle the olive oil into the sauce to carmelize the figs? i took it out but i wasn’t sure.
I like to remove the sauce with the pork:) Thanks for much for giving the recipe a try! xTieghan
This was my first time using figs and my family was skeptical. Everyone LOVED this recipe! Absolutely amazing!!
YES!! So glad you decided to try this one and it turned out so well for you, Meredith! Thank you! xTieghan
I made this last night and had to use dried figs because fresh figs were no where to be found. Do you have any other suggestions?
You can always use dried dates dried apricots in place of the figs. I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan