Legendary Dishes | Cevizli İncir Dolması / Syka Xerá me Karydia (figs stuffed with walnuts)

GREECE CRETE TURKEY

One of the most nutritious snacks on the planet, dried figs with walnuts are among the reasons why the people of the eastern Mediterranean have low death rates and a healthy lifestyle. Artemis P. Simopoulos noted that the ‘diet of Crete or the traditional diet of Greece resembles the Paleolithic diet in terms of fiber, antioxidants, saturated fat, monounsaturated fat and the ratio of fatty acids’. Stunningly simple, this snack can be eaten raw or cooked.

Fresh Bursa figs from Anatolia

Raw Version

  • 880 g (16) fresh figs / 220 g (16) dried figs
  • 120 g walnuts, chopped or pounded small
  • 15 g vanilla sugar
  • 10 g cinnamon, ground

Combine walnuts with the cinnamon and the sugar. Cut the fresh figs in half or slice the dried figs along their length, insert walnut mixture.

The walnuts can also be halved and inserted whole.


Cooked Version

In Anatolia figs and walnuts have been a culinary marriage for thousands of years. These days they cultivate the small black fig of the Bursa variety. At around 55 grams each these figs are just the right size to absorb syrup.

  • 900 g (16) fresh Bursa figs
  • 900 ml hot water
  • 100 g walnuts, crushed
  • 45 g sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Soak the figs in the hot water for about an hour. Drain the liquid into a wide saucepan, whisk in the sugar and oil. Cut the tops off the figs, depress each fig with a spoon and fill cavity with the crushed walnut. Put the figs in the saucepan with the sugar water, cover and cook over a low heat until the figs absorb the liquid.