Grilled Sausages with Spiced Figs


Yes, hello. I’m still here. It’s funny how a mere 4 days’ absence can feel like a decade when I’m used to being umbilically connected to this place. I have missed you guys, but didn’t want to be the little raincloud that popped up over your head every time you stopped by for a visit.

(Also, I’ve been teaching in Red Deer the past two evenings, arriving home tonight and last at close to midnight. Yesterday, having been up since 5:30, I couldn’t bring myself to open my laptop.)

To bring you up to speed on the past few days, I’ll give you the Coles notes: I survived Saturday, in no small part due to Pierre. A chili cook-off at the Ramsay Christmas Fair on Sunday, more sad news from friends, and the arrival of other friends from BC, whose coming provided ample excuse to make beef bourguignon and open some wine.

Monday we baked dark fruitcake (the very best therapy, I’m telling you) and took the kids to see
A Christmas Carol (the movie) which – by the way? SCARY. Dark. Heavy. Very traditional Dickens (save for the occasional poke at religion, which I don’t recall in any versions I’ve seen) – spectacular effects, but all in all not as lightened/humoured by Jim Carrey or the Disney title as I expected. The kids aren’t particularly inclined to be scared of stuff, but we spent half the movie covering their 3D glasses with our hands. I may have nightmares. About the $45 popcorn tab and over $100 admission between the 8 of us, at least.

And today, after the dog park and W’s gymnastics and before I drove to Red Deer, I retrieved some sausages from the freezer, grilled them and topped them with spiced figs from last week. It was a tapas menu item I stumbled upon that struck me as particularly tasty, and it was.


Grilled Pork Sausages with Spiced Figs

Recipe link


November 26, 2009

adapted from Bon Appétit, September 2007

  • Makes: Serves 10.


1 cup red wine vinegar

3/4-1 cup sugar

1 pkg. dried black Mission figs (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 cinnamon stick or 1 sprig of rosemary

1 tsp. cornstarch (optional)

5 sweet Italian link pork sausages (about 1 pound)


1In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, figs and cinnamon stick or rosemary and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat for about half an hour, until the figs are plump and the liquid is syrupy. If you like, dissolve the cornstarch in about 2 tsp. water and add it to the mixture to thicken it a little; bring back to a boil for at least 2 minutes to allow it to thicken and get rid of any starchy texture.

2Meanwhile, grill the sausages until almost cooked through; holding them with tongs, cut them in half lengthwise, then throw them back on the grill for a few minutes, cut-side down, until char-marked on the bottom.

3Serve each sausage half topped with a few figs and some sauce.

Makes: Serves 10.

One Year Ago: Crab, Spinach and Artichoke Omelets


About Julie

19 comments on “Grilled Sausages with Spiced Figs

  1. Bellini Valli
    November 26, 2009 at 5:29 am

    The movie is scary even for adults so I don’t know, but I would easily be comforted by sausages and fig tapas.

  2. Alicen
    November 26, 2009 at 6:52 am

    Welcome Back!
    Sorry to hear that you will be attending another funeral for another life brought to an end much too soon. Such a tragedy for 4 families to have to endure.
    On the subject of food though, I’m very intrigued by the sausage-fig combo. I love to eat sausages with maple syrup so the salty sweet combo is right up my alley.

  3. Elaine
    November 26, 2009 at 8:43 am

    Sorry to hear about all of the crap happening up there.

    Thanks, though, for the sausage idea; I make a lot of my own sausages and am looking for appetizer-type ideas for the holidays. This looks fantastic.

  4. erin
    November 26, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Hi Julie,

    Glad you’re back – hope this week is better.

  5. Cheryl Arkison
    November 26, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Rough week. Our neighbours know the Chapman family well, so we’ve been hearing lots of sad and good stories.
    Dark fruitcake? Yum!

  6. JulieVR
    November 26, 2009 at 10:43 am

    I just can’t imagine what their families are going through. Joilinn was on her way back to town for the funeral I was at on Saturday. I still can’t wrap my head around it all.

  7. Manon from Ontario
    November 26, 2009 at 11:52 am

    OK can someone explain a funeral of a two year old please? I didn’t have time to read all your blog this week but I came accross this in your blog?

    OMG…..I don’t even want to imagine how the family feels…..hugs :(

    Manon from Ontario

  8. Debbie
    November 26, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    So sad. I’ve been holding my boys much closer these days.

    Julie, where in Calgary can I find figs? I know my regular grocery never has them. TIA.

  9. JulieVR
    November 26, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Debbie – figs should be easy to find – dried ones, that is, fresh aren’t in season for very long. Dried figs are in the produce section or with the raisins and other dried fruit – Safeway, Superstore, Sobeys… I don’t think I’ve come across a grocery store yet that doesn’t carry them! If you can’t find them, just ask.

  10. rea
    November 26, 2009 at 2:58 pm


    keep on hanging on.

  11. Karen
    November 26, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. The flavours of rosemary and cinnamon with pork are delicious. Whenever cooking any sort of ground pork I toss a dash of nutmeg into the mix as well.

  12. Jan (Mixing Bowl Kids)
    November 26, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    I love this one. Figs are wonderful with meat and I’m sure that this is no exception.

  13. stacey snacks
    November 26, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    I love Pierre’s book Kitchen Scraps, and love his sarcastic humor and his blog!

    Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.

    Stacey Snacks

  14. lovetocook
    November 26, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    A sausage appetizer idea for Elaine

    6 pork sausages (Kirkland mild Italian)
    32 – 40 dried apricots
    1/2 cup dry sherry (or any combination of brandy, sherry, liqueur)
    Soak bamboo satay sticks in water. Plump apricots in sherry. Par-grill the sausages. Allow to cool. Cut each into 6-7 even pieces. Thread onto soaked skewers alternating with apricot. (3-4 per skewer unless you are making this a meal)

    1/2 cup Apricot Jam + 1/2 cup water
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1/3 cup finely diced onion
    2 T finely chopped ginger root
    1 tsp soy sauce
    liquid from soaking the apricots
    1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

    Saute onions in olive, add ginger, then remaining ingredients except lemon juice. Simmer for 5 minutes until reduced and thickened. Add lemon juice.

    Spoon sauce over prepared skewers in advance and spoon more over the skewers while reheating to serve
    My daughter knew one of the teens and her wonderful family. This brings back feelings of a previous loss- a beautiful and talented girl who perished in an avalanche at the same time of the year. There is no name for a parent who loses a child…

  15. Manon from Ontario
    November 27, 2009 at 7:42 am

    OMG more sad news……now that’s enough!

    Prayers and thoughts are with you Julie and the family of everyone concerned.

    So sorry, HUGS!

  16. Erica B.
    November 27, 2009 at 8:36 am

    Oh my I read about that accident. My thoughts & prayers are with you & the families.

  17. pauline
    November 27, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Out thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  18. Beverley
    November 27, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    @Manon from Ontario – I googled to try to figure out the 2-yr-old funeral and came across a story of a family from Calgary that were vacationing in Florida and their child drowned in their friends’ pool. I don’t know if that’s the family that Julie knows… but so sad.

    I highly do not recommend googling things like this. I was a wreck after finding the pool story and another young child who died this week, same age as my own.

  19. Erica B.
    November 27, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    @Beverley & @Manon – I googled too and came across another story of a 2yo’s accidental death before I came across this one. . Awful to think about it happening once, let alone a second time. I felt just sick. I have three kids myself ages 3, almost 5 and 8yrs. I can’t imagine losing one of them.

    The child who drowned is the one who’s funeral Julie attended last weekend and Joilinn, was in a horrific car accident on the way to that little one’s funeral. Truly tragic. My heart goes out to all involved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.