Calimyrna Figs with Point Reyes Farmstead Blue

Calimyrna figs are one of my favorite things. You will find, my “favorite things” list is huge, but these rank. My earliest memories of figs, alas, were in the form of “Fig Newtons.” It’s not a cookie, mother… Heaven help us. I was always so fascinated at how you could break the cookie apart and glue it back together with the figgie stuff inside, with no apparent damage. I was a strange child. I know. But flash forward a couple of decades, and I found myself living in the gorgeous city of Munich, with the one and only Viktualienmarkt at the center of it all, and just a few minutes walk from our apartment. There, I saw figs again with fresh eyes- flown in from Israel. It truly was love at first sight- I mean, just LOOK at them!

They are absolutely beautiful to behold, and jeweled inside. sigh. For me, figs seem to be at their absolute best when they are in their simplest form. In Munich, I would just slice them and serve them with a board of any fantastic cheese I had run into at the market that day (happened frequently, our little fridg was full of cheese). Another great fig memory took place in Piedmont… We had traveled south to…eat, and stayed at this wonderful agriturismo called Locanda del Vallone . There was a giant fig tree growing in the yard with ripe figs starting to drop, and I was always in raptures every time I walked past it. One morning, after a little outing, we came back “home” to our little cottage on the property to find a jar, still hot, with freshly made fig jam inside, sitting on the front step. The proprietor, Monika, became a kindred spirit that day…I will never forget her kindness.

So, when these organic calimyrna figs (from California) started showing up in the market a few weeks ago, I bought some immediately, and then we left town! I loaded my little figs in a bowl, and they traveled to the mountains with us. I had hoped to do something with them, but in the end, all had time for was to eat them whole after returning from a long bike ride. When I spotted them in the market again, I was determined and came straight home for a late lunch of- figs, of course. Being one of my favorite things, I paired them with my other favorites things: Point Reyes Farmstead Blue cheese, baby arugula (ruccola!), and fresh tarragon from my herb garden. The result was something like angels singing, and the craving has been met, if not satisfied.

Calimyrna Figs with Point Reyes Farmstead Blue

by Stephanie Kunstle



  • 1 fig per person
  • A nice chunk of your favorite blue cheese to crumble
  • fresh baby arugula
  • balsamic vinegar (fig infused is nice, but optional)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh tarragon leaves, to taste
  • salt and pepper


  1.  Slice the figs into quarters and arrange on a bed of arugula.
  2. Crumble blue cheese over the top of each fig.
  3. Roughly chop tarragon leaves, and add to olive oil and balsamic (1 part vinegar to 3 parts olive oil), with some freshly cracked salt and pepper- wisk together to make vinegrette.
  4. Drizzle small amount of vinegrette over the tops of each fig salad and enjoy!
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14 Responses to Calimyrna Figs with Point Reyes Farmstead Blue

  1. Tío says:

    I would like to eat a fig whole. Never done that, sounds like I should! :)

  2. rita says:

    Yum!!! Can’t wait to try this the next time I see figs at the market. You’ve come a long way from pulling them (Fig Newtons) apart and gluing them back together in your lunch box. Ha! LOVE YOU!:)
    p.s. I find myself looking forward to your next entry!

  3. Auntie Meg says:

    mmmmmm. . . oh yes.

  4. Em says:

    Wow. You’re rocking my world. I’ll admit, I’ve never eaten a fig in any other form than a Fig Newton (I love those!). Your salad is so elegantly simple! Can’t wait to try it!

  5. Grandma Salazar says:

    I think it’s terrific! Really amazing. The pictures are great – they look good! You’re doing a good job! Keep it up!
    Grandma Salazar

  6. Stephanie Kunstle says:

    Gracias, Abuelita. Te quiero.

  7. Stephanie Kunstle says:

    Tio: You most definitely should…it’s sort of an ancient-times experience.

  8. Stephanie Kunstle says:

    Rita: Funny the things I remember with nostalgia!

  9. Stephanie Kunstle says:

    Meg: Exactly.

  10. Stephanie Kunstle says:

    Em: I am determined to rock Joel’s culinary world, through you. A fig is a good start.

  11. MB says:

    Oh dear Stephanie, thank you so much for igniting my memories of figs – for me, they were a good growing up delight – but also isolated only to Fig Newtons. As an adult they became a rare and taunting fruit I could walk by only in the best markets and wonder – what could I possibly do with these?…. My fondest memory of figs happens of course to have taken place in the south of France. We had rented a restored farmhouse outside of Avignon. Our days consisted of rising late, going to market for the only the best and freshest consumables available, and coming home with loads of breads, too many olives and whatever else had tempted us for the day. While lounging in the sun trying to make the most difficult decisions of the day – should I be in the sun or the shade? Should I rest or read? I heard a most peculiar “Flump!” and the silence. And then there it was again – “Flump!” and silence. I sat up and took notice – what could possibly be making that noise accept for the Gatekeeper of the property – a docile german shepherd who certainly knew that he had the best gig in town on this property. But he was resting very still in the shade seemingly bored and waiting for something extraordinary to happen (sign me up for that!). As it turns out, the property was full of trees – FIG TREES – that were all ripening those very days. The “Flump!” I was hearing was in fact the sound that a fig makes when it falls to the ground. And my dog Sassy could not have been happier. Imagine a small fluffy lapdog full of self confidence and fluffy hair – her name Sassy was perfect of course, chasing the “Flump!” sounds all around the yard – for there were 30-40 fig trees around us – all dropping figs that were ready willing and able to join our next table gathering. She simply chased the noises and nuzzled the newly bruised fruit on the ground, while we gathered them up and paired them with anything we had….. It’s funny – I loved fig newtons as a child but never gave figs proper culinary respect until that vacation in the south of France. And now, well… they are treated with great respect in our family when the appropriate time comes each season.
    Thank you Stephanie!!

  12. Stephanie Kunstle says:

    MB- Oh happy, happy fig and France stories… *sigh*… they are sacred fruit, they really are. Thank you so much for sharing the memories with us.

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