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VCU Massey Cancer Center


Recipe corner: fig and feta flatbread, simple fig bars

Recipes prepared by Allie Farley, M.S., R.D., L.D., registered dietitian at VCU Health. Visit Allie's blog on Diet and Nutrition for more recipes and information about the connection between diet and cancer survivorship.

Figs are generally grown in California and harvested mid-summer. You will not find many grown in Virginia, however, our partner Tricycle Urban Ag Culture grew fig trees and harvested figs to sell at Massey's weekly farm stand over the summer. I personally had never had fresh figs until trying one from the farm stand. The natural sweetness of this fruit is a great alternative to sugary snacks full of empty calories. This brought me to wonder, what can I do with figs (other than eat them as is, which is delicious)? After some research I found there are so many recipes available for figs fresh and dried. 

Figs can be enjoyed as a sweet dessert or paired with something savory. They provide a good source of vitamins A and K, as well as fiber, calcium, magnesium and potassium. They are also a great source of antioxidants.Check out these fig recipes I tried at home with my family. They were both enjoyed by the youngest of my crew and even the oldest who is very picky!

Fig and Feta Cheese Flatbread


  • 3 large onions, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • Fresh figs
  • 4 oz crumbled feta cheese (or cheese of your liking, goat cheese would be good too)
  • 100% whole wheat flatbread
  • Balsamic vinaigrette (optional)
  • Baby arugula

Start by heating your vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once oil his warm add sugar and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until mixture is a light brown color. Approximately 5-8 minutes. Now
add chopped onion, salt and pepper into sugar mixture. Your onions should quickly start to caramelize.
Stir frequently until onions are browned and sugar has dissolved, approximately 8-10 minutes. Add red
wine vinegar and decrease heat to allow your mixture to simmer, until jam consistency is formed.

This may take 15-20 minutes. Remove jam from heat to allow it to cool before assembling your flatbreads.
When you are ready to assemble warm your flatbreads up in the oven for about 5 minutes at 350.
Remove flatbread from the oven and spread evenly about 1 tbsp. of jam on top, more if you would like.
Then top with sliced figs, feta crumbles and fresh arugula. To add a little extra acidic touch drizzle with
balsamic. Enjoy the multiple flavors this dish has to offer!

Simple Fig Bars


  • 1 ¼ cup dried figs
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup pecans
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Put together walnuts, pecans, figs and cocoa powder into a food processor and chop until well combined. Add 1 tbsp of maple syrup at a time to evenly mix throughout your mixture. Once mixture is fully chopped and combined line an 8x8 dish with parchment paper and add mixture to the dish. Try using a spatula to press down and smooth the mixture to an even thickness all throughout the dish.

Place dish into the refrigerator for at least an hour to harden uncovered. However, if you are in a hurry you can actually place the dish in the freezer for about 20 – 30 minutes. Cut the bars to a size of your liking and enjoy!

Written by: Massey Communications Office

Posted on: August 29, 2019

Category: Diet and Nutrition

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