A show-stopping charcuterie platter from Sally Pasley Vargas makes a gorgeous statement for a party, celebration, or special holiday event, and it’s relatively stress-free. In other words, it’s not cooking. It’s shopping. The elements on the charcuterie plate—sliced cured meats, wedges of cheese, some pickles or olives, mustard, toasted nuts, fresh and dried fruit—pair well with something a bit tart and sweet, like this simple dried fig relish made with Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs. Photo: Sally Pasley Vargas

Recipe Corner: From Valley Fig Growers Charcuterie Board with Dried Fig Relish


FRESNO — What do you know about dried fig nutrition? Dried fig nutritional value and benefits include being a good source of fiber, and providing calcium, potassium, and micro-nutrients. One (40-gram) serving of dried figs has 100 calories in it. For perspective, this serving size and calories in figs is less than in dates, dried apricots, or raisins.

“The best dried figs come from California. Located in the fertile San Joaquin Valley, our fig-grower-owned cooperative is one of the largest handlers of figs in North America. Whether you’re using our dried figs or fig products in a commercial kitchen or enjoying our dried figs at home, the benefits of dried figs are many. You can find them in your favorite store or online, under the brands: Sun-Maid, Orchard Choice, and Blue Ribbon. You can count on California Figs.”

“Our figs are always GMO-Free, vegan friendly, and packed with nutrition. Whether you enjoy our figs for their nutritional powerhouse reputation, their wonderful taste, or their reputed aphrodisiac qualities, we know you’ll be back for more.”

The “recipe” for the charcuterie platter here is just a guideline. You can concentrate on a particular region and choose meats and cheeses from France, Italy, or Spain for example, or you can be guided by what appeals to you that is available in the market. For the meats, allow 2 ounces per person for an appetizer platter, up to 5 ounces if the platter is for a meal. Choices range from pre-sliced meats such as prosciutto or Spanish ham (Serrano or Iberico), Italian dry-cured beef (bresaola), German speck, and mortadella. Hard salamis such as soppressata, smoked kielbasa, and capicola are also good candidates.

Offer three types of cheeses—something soft and pungent like a soft blue Castello, a triple crème Tur or Brillat-Savarin, or Brie; something firm like an aged Parmigiano; and something in between, like a Gouda or Spanish manchego. Once again, be guided by your own taste and what is available, or focus on a particular region or country.

Wash all of it down with a chilled rose or sparkling Lambrusco. It’s officially summer; the living should be easy.

Valley Fig Growers hummus with lamb and spiced figs

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Pass on the cheese plate and plan on an antipasto platter. Adding dried fig relish to a charcuterie board with pickles, nuts, and cheese is so much better.

Recipe and photo are by Sally Pasley Vargas


For the relish (makes about 1 1/2 cups)

1 cup Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, stemmed + coarsely chopped

1/3 cup green olives, coarsely chopped

Topics: Figs

1/4 cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped

1 celery stalk, finely diced

2 tablespoons mint leaves, snipped

1 1/2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

For the platter:

Fig Relish

12 ounces cured meats sliced

3 wedges cheese

1/2 cup toasted whole almonds

A small pot of mustard

1/2 lb. red grapes or purple

1 cup blackberries

1/2 cup olives

1/2 cup cornichons

Toasted baguette slices


Serves 6.


In a bowl, stir together the figs, olives, almonds, celery, and mint leaves.

Stir in the vinegar and oil and taste. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to a small serving bowl.

Arrange the fig relish, meat, cheese, almonds, mustard, grapes, berries, olives, and cornichons on a platter. Serve with baguette and crackers.

For this story and recipe, go to: https://valleyfig.com/dried-fig-recipes/charcuterie-board-fig-relish/

Valley Fig Growers produces a variety of fig products for Industrial/Foodservice use including bulk figs, fig paste, fig concentrate, diced and sliced figs, fig nuggets, and fillings. If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag @valleyfig —they’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook.

Don’t miss Valley Fig Growers Hummus with Lamb + Spiced Figs recipe at: https://valleyfig.com/dried-fig-recipes/hummus-with-lamb-spiced-figs/

For this year’s most popular Fig Pizzas, go to: https://valleyfig.com/fig-pizza/



Valley Fig Growers

2028 S. Third Street

Fresno, CA 93702

PHONE: (559) 237-3893

FAX: (559) 237-3898

EMAIL: info@valleyfig.com

For retail sales, go to: https://valleyfig.com/buy-figs/retail/

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