John Sigona's Dried Fruit Pick of the Issue

John Sigona’s Dried Fruit Pick of the Issue

John Sigona, who has been buying dried fruits and nuts for more than 30 years, partners with local farmers to get spectacular prices on all our dried fruits and nuts!

Top: Dried Calimyrna figs. Bottom: Dried Black Mission figs

John’s Pick:

Grown in the Fresno Valley

Jumbo Size Calimyrna Figs AND Large Black Mission Figs

According to the California Fig Advisory Board, fresh & dried figs contain:

  • Disease-fighting antioxidants
  • A good amount of calcium
  • A good amount of potassium
  • A good amount of iron
  • And lots of Dietary Fiber

Figs are incredibly versatile—here are a few examples:

  • Stuff them with your favorite cheese and nuts—we recommend Gorgonzola and walnuts or a goat cheese with walnuts and pecans
  • Blend a few with a banana, milk and a little yogurt for a fig-banana smoothie
  • Slice them and mix them with crushed nuts for a nice sandwich spread
  • Slice figs to make a goat cheese and fig pizza
  • Wrap them with prosciutto and served with crumbled Blue Cheese
  • Try the following recipe we came up with based on a recipe from Mark Bittman of the New York Times. He uses Black Mission Figs, which you can use, too, but we like the Calimyrna Figs.

Herbed Pork Loin Stuffed with Figs

This recipe  – inspired by Mark Bittman of the New York Times – is always a crowd pleaser, whether for dinner guests or a romantic meal for two.

  • 1 pork loin (big enough to feed the number of people you plan on serving)
  • 1 – 10.5oz container of Calimyrna Figs
  • Fresh Rosemary (about 3 sprigs, minced)
  • Salt & Pepper.
  • Garlic powder (we love it!)
  • Red or White wine, your preference (or water, see below)

Place figs in a bowl and pour in wine to cover. This will reconstitute them a bit. You can also use hot water.

Rinse the pork loin and pat dry. Stand the pork on end and insert a thin, long and sharp knife into the middle, pushing it to the end – if it doesn’t reach, do the same to the other end. Turn the knife slightly to create a larger opening in the pork, then use the handle of a long wooden spoon to force a whole all the way through the meat. (you’ll be stuffing the figs in there – a hole about as around as your thumb would be good).

Drain the figs, reserving the liquid, and start stuffing figs into the pork, filling the entire roast from end to end.

Rub the outside of the pork with a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic powder and minced rosemary.

Place pork loin in a roasting pan and pour about half a cup of the wine (or water) used to soak the figs) over it. Roast at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Lower heat to 325 degrees and continue to cook, basting with pan juices (or added liquid, like wine or water, if necessary) every 15 minutes. The pork is done when it reaches 145-150 degrees. This usually takes 40-60 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature in the middle of the roast.

Let it sit for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing. Serve warm on a serving platter. For a fancy touch, add a few sprigs of fresh Rosemary to the plate. Eat the pork while drinking the wine!

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