Harvest Fig Leaves - Don't throw them out

janoyanOctober 26, 2011

It is time to harvest those beautiful fig leaves instead of thowing them out. Then can them for winter cooking.

Most have heard of grape leaf Dolma. A Mediterranean- Armenian - Greek dish; namely stuffed leaves. If you have not, stay in touch I will be presenting them one of these days when I master the art of U Tubing.

Back to the fig leaves for now.

Cut the full size and well shaped ones at the edge of the leaf leaving out the stem. Then stack them about 8 or 10 and roll them into a cigar shape. Tie it with a cooking string, environmentally friendly, nothing fancy. Prepare the quart jars, lids and rings as you would for hot bath canning of fruits, etc. A quart will take about 6 or 7 of these bundles. After bringing the leaves to a boil let it cook on med. heat for about 45 minutes to assure their tenderness. Pack them in the jars and add the boiling water you have from the cooking until jar is full to 1/2 inch from the top. If you run short on liquid just add some very hot water to the mix . Process them for about 10 minutes.

Best of luck,


PS. Cheat a little. While the leaves are cooking take some of that liquid in a cup and enjoy it as fig leaf tea. Be sure to add more water to the pot to have ample liquid for the process.

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I fish in LI Sound and one of our best eating fish is called the porgy, sort of like a small snapper. They average less than a pound each. A few weeks back I took some porgies, rubbed them with olive oil and seasoned with pepper and salt. I then took some large fig leaves and blanched them in boiling water, patted dry and wrapped them around the porgy and tied with kitchen twine and then rubbed that with a bit more oil. I threw them on the grill for about 10 minutes a side and they were delicious. The leaves give the fish a sweet smoky flavor and held the together for the cooking.

The only drawback is bit's of the leaves get caught between the teeth so flossing is a must.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 11:00AM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

janoyan, I harvested a lot of leaves for fig tea, it seems to help with some of my medical problems, plus I love the taste.

I haven't been able to harvest the rest of them due to my work schedule and they are beginning to dry out and turn colors.

Can I rehydrate them?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 3:21PM
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I recently tried making fig-tea by just boiling
live green (cleaned) fig leaves.

The taste was rather strange but pleasant, but the after
stuff effect was NOT. I had this feeling of my lips wanting
to just stick together -- maybe of the latex contents?

Maybe I should have dried them first?...

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 5:28PM
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genecolin(Zone 9, LA)

Sorry to hear that gorgi. I made some tea using fresh green leaves that I chopped up a bit and it was good. It had a taste like a light coconut flavor. I found it good and I had no side effects. I wanted to save some dried ones and try them, but they got covered with rust and other stuff. I will take some nice fresh leaves next year and dry them, then make tea to see how that works.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 8:52PM
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Wertach, I am interested to hear more of the help you recived for your medical problems, if you can.
I have never done any rehydrating, prefer to keep them air tight, dry and ziplocked in cool dark place for winteruse.
No side effects either, it keeps me from getting constipated. I imagine we all are different , and can be affected in somewhat different ways. Do what works best for you. Perhaps boilling it for a longer period of time may change its flavor.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 8:42AM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

Janoyan, I have diverticulitis and since I have been drinking the fig tea it has improved a lot. Not bloating as much. Also I have uncontrollable hypertension, none of the drugs have brought it down. The tea seems to have lowered it some.

Here is a link that might be useful: Diverticulitis

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 10:07AM
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Thank you for the culinary tips! :-) Will all varieties of fig trees work for the fig tea? That means the leaves are all safe to boil and make tea out of?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 12:32AM
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