Sautéing figs with plums, shallots, and balsamic vinegar turns these simple ingredients into a savory, sweet, tangy sauce with a deep burgundy color, perfect for autumnal feasts. I serve it alongside roast pork, as a chutney for curry, and even as jam on my morning toast. I love this type of sauce—with just a few simple, quality ingredients, you can make anything instantly more delicious.
Depending on your desired results, you can vary the cooking method: Cooking the sauce for 15 minutes or so as written, until the fruit is barely softened, will yield a thicker, chunkier sauce, best used as a side dish or garnish to meats and poultry. If you cook it a little longer, let’s say 45 minutes or so, the fruits will soften and break down even more, giving you more of a chutney. If you then puree it, you’ll have a savory jam.
Makes about 4 cups
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 shallots (about 3 ounces), minced
- 1 pound mission figs, stems removed and quartered
- 1 pound plums, pits removed and quartered
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat and cook the shallots until soft. Add the figs, plums, and balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the plums and figs have softened slightly, about 15 minutes.
Taste to adjust seasonings. Serve warm or at room temperature.