Results tagged “figs”

Roasted figs

california
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When weekending in the Russian River area recently with friends (picture higgledy hills, back-to-back vineyards of Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet, pasty San Franciscans soaking up the rays by day and in the hot tub by night…), we were delighted to find a fig tree in the garden. Roasted on their leaves, the figs went a treat with the grilled lamb we had for dinner.

Smfigs0009.JPGI reckon they'd also go well with other grilled and roasted meats, or with cheese, or even with ice cream as a dessert (in which case add some sugar and go easy on the salt and pepper).

Prosciutto with melon and figs

italy
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So, I've managed to reach Week 52, which means I must have left London a whole year ago.  To show off my new skills after a year of culinary studies in the Bay Area, I find myself now sending you a recipe that basically says, 'get some prosciutto, melon and figs and put them together on a plate.'  I have learnt more complicated stuff, honest, like boning out and stuffing whole ducks, but thought that as delicious as the ducky ballotine is, you'd be more likely to spend 20 mins throwing these three gorgeous ingredients together. 

Smmelonprosciuttofig0009.JPGFigs and melons are classic Italian pairings for prosciutto.  This dish beautifully combines the three.  It is served as an appetiser at the Chez Panisse Café during the summer when figs and melons are at the peak of their season.  For best results prepare everything at the last minute (but make sure the ingredients are at room temperature first).

Figs

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Figs.JPGFigs were one of the first plants to be cultivated by humans.  Recent evidence found suggests they were cultivated in the Jordan Valley as early as 9400-9200 BC, ie before the first cereals were domesticated.  

The fig is actually a fig/flower - the tiny flowers are clustered inside.

Amarone-poached figs with ricotta

italy
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Figs have been in season here in San Francisco recently, so I have been experimenting with them.  You'll either love this or hate it I reckon.  Let me know how it goes if you try it.  If nothing else, it provides a good excuse to open a bottle of Amarone.

Traditionally in Italy this dish is made with Sambuca instead of Amarone.  I tried it with both and much prefer it with Amarone.  You could try any anise-flavoured spirit, or perhaps Marsala, port or brandy... 

What makes the dish work is the contrasting combination of the salty, crunchy pine nuts, the soft, cool ricotta and the warm, sweet figs and syrup.

Amarone figs.jpg
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