I thought I read somewhere they can be used in cooking. I am visiting my parents in California & they have a fig tree. Should I pack some leaves to bring home? What can I do with them once I get back?
Lisanne is a trusted home cook.
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Here is an informative article from the LA Times:
I am not sure how you would preserve the leaves if you were to pick them and take them back home. Vine leaves can be frozen nicely, but with the rigidity and milkyness of fig leaves, I'd guess it won't work well. I assume beacause of the natural habitat of the fig tree in warm climates exclusively, they are only used fresh from the tree.
At my previous house there was a fig tree that was always putting out new shoots at the base. Every time we cleared the shoots I would gather the leaves and stuff them with queso fresco and quince paste, fig jam, or apricot slices. They are great brushed with olive oil, salt, and pepper and grilled until they start to blacken slightly.
Some figs are not edible,so be carefull with that.
I know that grape leaves must be picked when they are young and tender(like now) and I think that the same is true of fig leaves. I like to pick them when they are big and use them on plates and trays for displaying cheeses and charcuterie.