BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘figs

Figs and Quince

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Foraged figs.

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.

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Broiled figs with fennel.

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.

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Apple-quince sauce.

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Quince, Pork Tenderloin, Fennel-crusted Broiled Fig Salad on Arugula.

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Written by baltimoregon

November 9, 2009 at 1:31 am

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Lovely Local Lamb and Figs

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Getting intimate with the rack.Getting intimate with the rack.

Dan’s uncle and aunt, our yenta (not in the busybody sense), came all the way from New York to visit, so I wanted to make a special meal.

Eggplant Parmesan? Fresh fish? But then I stumbled upon new Bon Appetit recipe for Lamb Chops with Fresh Herbs and Roasted Figs. That’s what I would make. But calling these lamb chops is a bit misleading. It’s rack of lamb cut into chops. Not the most recession-friendly recipe. But luckily I found an affordable local source of lamb just down the road. I even biked to their store to procure it. Nice rack. Had to crack a little joke as I took the 3-lbs. of meat (and mostly rib bones) from the freezer.

Blushing beauties: Kadota figs.

Blushing beauties: Kadota figs.

The hardest part of the recipe was timing the cooking of the lamb right and carving the chops. All you do is rub the rack with herbs and garlic, add some salt and pepper, brown, roast then roast the succulent halved Kadota figs in the lamb fat. I especially love such plain-looking green figs with their resplendent blush interiors. In Siddhartha, when Herman Hesse compares “her mouth to a fig split in two“: that’s a description that’s stayed with me. Don’t you just love Google Books?

To whet our appetites, we noshed on local cheeses (including the end of an addictive Rogue Creamery Rosemary Cheddar) with hazelnut sourdough bread from the farmers’ market. They sampled my pickles; the kosher dills were a hit, maybe even better than Ben’s? What better compliment could a girl get. The asparagus and okra pickles didn’t go over as well.

Rounding out the meal was Julia’s always reliable, amenable whole grain salad. I threw blanched green beans from our garden and roasted local Italian peppers into it. I recommend making it with Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend (Israeli couscous, orzo, split garbanzo beans and red quinoa). I think that’s the Trader Joe’s item I most miss. I always pick some up when I’m in Portland. It’s supposed to be coming to Corvallis. Of course, they’ll probably discontinue carrying this product by then.

The meal.

The meal.

Julia's whole grains.

Julia's whole grains.

Written by baltimoregon

September 10, 2009 at 9:17 am

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