It is september and we are all about FIGS!!!
Fresh figs. Oh yes.
Dried figs, oh yum.
Fig vinegar, totally delish, let’s sprinkle on every dish!
So let’s see, first we made a fig, ricotta, arugula salad, which we tossed in our basic sweet maple balsamic vinaigrette,
we topped the whole thing of with some crispy pancetta.
because: fig+ricotta+salty pork = figasms
now some warm bread, and really what else do you need?
ok, maybe a glass of wine.
and a fire pit.
and a good book.
Wait, did i eat that whole platter of fig, cheese, bacon goodness, by myself?
In the vegetable garden the chard, like every year, is growing like craaazy.
Chard everywhere I look. Chard is not a green I like to cook.
So slice me very thin, and toss with some dried figs, and top me off with some agave pepitas.
We made a super simple fig vinegar sauce for our chicken. Tart, and delish.
We needed some starch, so some quiona, with wild rice for crunch, dried figs and walnuts.
What else, did we do anything more with figs?
Oh yes, fig tart and balsamic fig ice cream.
There were some non fig items, raw Brussels sprouts, some charred okra and green beans, and then we had a FIG-TASTIC lunch.
megan, all the way up in denver, knows the answer to this, could be…yes, nectarine, or coming real soon, persimmon (fuyu).
If it is ripe and delish then please put it in your dish.
Figs, or other ripe seasonal fruit
ricotta cheese, home made, goat cheese, or mozzarella
pancetta, crisped in a 375 degree oven on an oiled sheet pan, for 5 – 8 min, bacon or prosciutto
and yes, we have made it before.
Now it is fall, so we are going with maple syrup as our sweetner, which really i only use september – january.
It’s like white after labor day.
Some things there is a season for.
Maple syrup = fall into winter
For our dressing we need more vinegar than maple syrup.
Did you want measurments?
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syurp (could be pomegranate molasses or agave, or honey)
1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper.
Whisk me all together, taste it.
Does it taste too sweet? then what we gonna do?
more vinegar, your lips are in a pucker, you are squinting your eyes?
then give it a splash more of maple sweetness.
Not sure what is wrong? Then add more shallot, and salt.
Put your arugula on a platter, scatter figs and cheese all about, pour your sweet maple dressing all around, but avoid pouring it over the ricotta because ricotta laced with dark vinegar dressing really looks unappealing, so drizzle the dressing all over, but around the cheese, then top the whole thing of with some crispy pancetta.
I am not keen on cooked chard.
Really if you must cook it, I would say drop it in boiling water for a second.
Dip in ice water, squeeze it really dry, then slice it thin and top it with a soy/rice vinegar/ chili mix. You can saute chard in a little oil, and some garlic and give it a splash of balsamic. You could. The question is why.
Raw chard however totally rules.
Chard, sliced very super thin, or go ahead, you can leave it larger, if you desire
pinch of sugar
sprinkle of kosher salt
and slush of olive oil
Ok, give it a “light” massage. No reason to get carried away. This is not rough Kale, which needs more of a “swedish” massage, chard is light and soft. Primarily we want to give it a massage to help it absorb flavor, and dressing.
Once it is lightly massaged, try it for salt, taste good, ok, give a sprinkle of lemon or lime juice, taste great, ok, your done, still taste too chard-y, give it a tiny splash of balsamic.
Now, toss in a bunch of chopped dried figs and top of the whole mountain with agave pepitas.
Are you serious?
So many times, we did them!
You must have this in your memory bank by now.
NO?! Ok, but only cause I am in a figtastic mood, am I going to retype this.
Hydrate and dehydrate.
To do it the raw way, first you soak over night, and then you put it in the dehydrator overnight, and then 48 hrs later you got something crispy.
Ok, we don’t have time for that.
I mean we do have time.
I meant to say, we are tooooo lazy for that, cause we want our agave pepitas NOW,
Cook to hydrate your agave pepitas in boiling water for a few minutes
drain and dry them on a sheet pan in a pre heated 375 degree oven for 5 min, when dry
drizzle with agave and olive oil and now we shall speed dehydrate these babies, by popping them into the oven for about 10 minutes or until brown and crispy.
Season with salt and pepper, cool and serve. Can be made ahead.
Chicken, season with salt and pepper.
Could be skin on, in which case sear in a little butter and oil until the skin is crispy then finish off in a preheated oven, until cooked through.
You got skin less breast, then grill on a hot grill until “good looking” grill marks appears and it is cooked through.
To make the sauce:
cook some red onion, sliced any which way you see fit, and a handful of mushrooms.
Saute your mushrooms and onion, in a little butter and oil. Try not to caramelize them, just get them lightly cooked, season with salt and pepper, then pour in a nice amount, ok, let’s call that 1/4 to 1/3 cup of yummy fig vinegar, let it reduce for a few minutes, but do not get carried away, we want the vinegar liquid still there, then pour in 1 cup of chicken broth.
Season with salt and pepper.
tIf desired, whisk in 2 tablespoons of butter.
Pour the sauce on, over or around your chicken, sprinkle with parsley or other herb.
1 cup Quinoa, cooked
1/3 cup Red rice, wild rice or black rice, cooked
1/4 cup finely chopped dried figs (ok could be dried apricots, or dates, or cranberries or…..)
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup toasted nuts, sliced almonds or walnuts or any nut you go nuts for
Splash of olive oil, and lemon
RECAP: quinoa, yes, ancient grain, good for you, but what is really good for you, is to read the label before you get started.
Quinoa needs to be rinsed, or it will have an unpleasant bitter taste to it.
Some brands sell PRE RINSED quinoa, in which case no washing required, hence the label.
And if you have had quinoa but found it bitter and unpleasant, it is because you, or whoever cooked it for you, did not take classes here on the farm. Read the label!
Toss together all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.
Do you need to salt and let your eggplant drain?
No, because here on the farm we play eggplant roulette……
It is my personal experience that less than 1 out of 100 eggplants are bitter enough to benefit from the salting method, and those odds are such that I am willing to gamble.
Ok, ever so often I will bite into an eggplant and think “hmmm bitter”, but not often enough to justify the extra time and effort, involved in salting and waiting.
1 Eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch slices, aka as: goldilocks size….not too thick, not too thin, but just right
olive oil spray
Fig vinegar, garlic, olive oil, chopped shallot
Garnishes: goat cheese, ricotta cheese, pomegranate seeds, herbs etc
Grill your” just right” sliced eggplant either on a grill, in a grill pan or saute in a skillet.
Eggplant absorbs tons of oil, and the entire surface really needs a nice coating, so spraying with olive oil spray or use a pastry brush to get a thin cover of oil on it.
Then grill or saute your egg plant until it is nice brown and soft inside. If you see dry patches on the eggplant spray more oil on it.
Season with salt and pepper, grate some garlic on it, and drizzle with fig vinegar and scatter some shallots on top.
Garnish as desired.
Last year, we cut our sprouts thin, and gave them a quick saute in a hot skillet. Yum.
Then a few classes later, we cut them in half, and tossed with with a mustard mix. Yum yum.
And we were converting the brussel sprouts haters, one by one.
And now the haters were ripe to go RAW. Yeah, baby!!!
Brussel sprouts, the larger the sprouts the better for this recipe
parsley, chopped coarse
thinly sliced almonds, toasted in a dry skillet
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 clove garlic grated
juice from one good lemon
1/3 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper
Slice the raw brussel sprouts super ridiculously thin, using the finest setting on a mandolin.
If you don’t have a mandolin, you should postpone eating them raw, until you have one.
There are great ones available for $25. Great investment.
To eat them RAW, they really need to be super ridiculously thin, which is only achievable by using a mandolin on the finest, barely even open setting.
PLEASE do NOT cut your FINGERS off while doing this…..it is a vegan dish….please
Ok, you have let’s say:
two cups of finely sliced raw brussels sprouts. Now toss in
1/3 cup of chopped parsley,
1/2 cup of toasted almonds.
Whisk together dressing ingredients, and toss with the raw sprouts. Taste for salt.
And see, last year you told me, you HATED brussels sprouts. And now you are eating them RAW.
and your liking it.
hate to say it, but I told you so.
Ok we have done this before, but for you new comers, or here we go again with the:
OKRA RULES, or Rules of Okra.
I am slimy – keep me dry. So if you need to wash the okra, do it way ahead of cooking it, so it will be dry when you cook it.
I am slimy – let the slime out. So cut me in half length wise, for maximum slime escape.
I am slimy – high heat to dry me out. Char cut side down, high heat, until brown, then flip for a second. then all done. Don’t over cook it. Leaving it a little crunchy is best. Now just sprinkle with a little salt, and you are ready to eat.
My rules of ice cream is always the same.
Custard cooking = way to much work.
1+1+1 = easy ice cream making. No custard needed.
So let’s see, we did, saffron ice cream, 1 part coconut milk, 1 part yogurt, 1 part sugar, +saffron and lemon.
We did basil ice cream, 1 part cream cheese, 1 part yogurt, 1 part sugar + basil and lemon
NOW we are doing Fig, so:
1 part buttermilk
1 part yogurt
1 part sugar
Whisk together above ingredients and then whirl in a blender with FIG JAM, and then freeze in an ice cream maker.
1/2 basket figs, cut in half or quarters
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup agave
Cook until figs are soft and mixture is reduced to a thick jam.
Stir in a splash of balsamic vinegar.
Cool and blend into ice cream base above, or use in fig tart below.
1 1/4 cup flour
4 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, frozen
1 egg, whisked into 1/4 cup ice water.
Whisk together flour, sugar and salt in a small bowl.
BAKING TIP OF TODAY: freeze your stick of butter, and then grate it over the flour mixture, which will make it really easy to mix together into the flour. Then stir in the egg wash, start by using half of it, and add gradually until the dough holds together.
PERSONALLY, i don’t care for flour sticking on my hands….its a bit of a phobia…..so I would take the dough, and pour it over a piece of plastic wrap and kneed it together inside the plastic, so none stick to my fingers
When the dough just keeps together, wrap in plastic and chill until proceeding.
When cold, cut in half, and roll each doug piece on a floured surface, until a thin round about 8 inch circle.
This is going to be a rustic tart, so no need to be precise.
Spread with some cooled Fig Jam, above, or purchased, over the center of the dough, keeping a 2 inch border.
Then over the fig jam, lay some fresh figs cut in half or quarters, semi decoratively.
Now fold up the two inch border, to create a raised edge of the dough.
Almost, done, just a few steps left.
Brush the figs with some fig jam (commercial) or other jam, melted with butter over the figs.
Brush some egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1/4 cup of cream) over the dough part. Then sprinkle with sugar.
Bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes or until the dough is browned.
Just FIG’s for a figtastic tart?,
no this could be any fruit.
So crust, easy to make. fill it with anything you got, apricots, plums, strawberries, apples, etc.
You can spread a little jam of the same flavor as the fruit you are filling it with, or you can skip the jam.
It’s your dessert. So you make it:
any which way you like it.