Chances are you’ll find many other uses for this fragrant sweet-tart jam. Enjoy it on a grilled-cheese or ham sandwich or serve it with a cheese or charcuterie board. It’s the perfect complement for fresh goat cheese or a tangy Cheddar.
- ¼ pound (125 g) dried Calimyrna figs, stems removed
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, about 10 ounces (315 g), halved and thinly sliced from root to stem
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon ground fennel seed
- Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, or more to taste
- 4 fresh Italian sausages, hot or sweet, 5 to 6 ounces (155 g to 185 g) each
Put the figs in a small saucepan with 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion, thyme, and fennel seed. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft, golden-brown, and sweet, about 30 minutes. Lower the heat if necessary to prevent burning.
While the onions cook, prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
Lift the figs out of the liquid with a slotted spoon and slice thinly. Add the figs to the onions, along with the sherry vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the fig-cooking liquid. Cook, stirring often, until the liquid has been absorbed and the flavors have merged, 3 to 4 minutes. Taste for seasoning. The jam should be moist with a balanced sweet-tart flavor.
Grill the sausages until they are nicely browned all over and feel firm when probed, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately with the warm jam.