Figs and Quince
Thankfully, I recovered from that unfortunate foraging experience. I’m certainly not ready to swear all scavenging off. Maybe I should stick to fruit, like these beautiful figs that drop on the sidewalk and into the street just around the corner from us. They must be a neglected student house, because the inhabitants don’t seem so interested in picking the fruit. They aren’t the sweetest, ruby red-inside black Mission figs, but in a paper bag, these ripened nicely enough.
I broiled some of them with fennel seeds for a hearty arugula salad recipe I found in The Spice Bible, which I reviewed a while back for The Sun. The recipe called for first slathering quince paste on a pork tenderloin and then broiling it. (If you don’t have membrillo, you could substitute another paste, chutney or jam.) Then you broil the fennel-crusted figs and toss both with arugula, in a light balsamic-olive oil vinaigrette. I had plenty of quince paste on hand from cooking for my Kitchen Window piece which runs Nov. 11. Speaking of quince, much of our October KBOO Food Show focused on the beguiling fruit.
And speaking of quince, we stewed some in to tarten up the applesauce I canned with a neighborhood group yesterday.
And speaking of quinces and figs, it appears there is even a new cookbook devoted to these sensuous, perfume-laden Persian fruits.