The California fig season is officially underway! These fragile, pear-shaped beauties are one of our favorites and between Rochelle and I, we are fortunate enough to have five beautiful fig trees to harvest from. Plump and mildly sweet, fresh figs are delicious in their natural state or can be added to an array of savory or sweet dishes. Below are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy fresh California figs:
Goat Cheese and Fig Toast
Bread of your choice, toasted (we use Beckmanns bread from our local farmers market)
Fresh figs, sliced
Raw organic honey
Salt and pepper
Drizzle toast with olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper and toast. Spread the fresh goat cheese on the warm toast, drizzle with honey, add a little pepper and top with fresh fig slices. Garnish with thyme.
Add this easy-to-make salsa to sliced, smoked steak for a hint of sweetness.
Fresh figs, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
Fresh parsley, chopped
Pinch salt & pepper
Mix together oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Drizzle over figs, add parsley and scallions and mix to combine. Garnish with blue cheese crumbles. Also, great on a steak crostini!
Blue Cheese, Honey and Walnut Figs
This super easy, savory appetizer bursts with some incredible flavors. The saltiness of the blue cheese complements the sweetness of the ripe homegrown figs finished with a delightful nuttiness of toasted organic walnuts. Click here for the recipe
It’s heirloom season once again and what I love most about these end-of-summer beauties are their uniqueness in flavors, colors, textures and shapes. This rustic tart (or otherwise known as a galette) has a delicious flaky crust and a beautifully-bold filling of sweet heirlooms and rich, golden cheese.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 stick (1/4 lb.) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup crème fraîche, chilled
Heirloom tomatoes, sliced
Semi-hard sheep’s milk cheese, such as manchego
Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and butter pieces in a food processor or in a medium bowl if blending by hand. Blend just until the butter is incorporated into the dry ingredients. Mix in the crème fraîche. Turn the entire mix out onto a cutting board and gently push it together into a pile. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. Place the sliced tomatoes in a colander and sprinkle generously with coarse salt. Lay the tomatoes on several sheets of paper towel to drain (dried tomatoes will make a crisp tart).
Dust a work surface well with flour and roll the dough into a circle about 1/8-inch thick. Dust flour under the dough if it starts to stick.
Carefully slide a rimless baking sheet under the dough. Leaving a 3-inch boarder, scatter the cheese on top of the dough, then arrange the tomatoes evenly over the cheese. Fold the edges of the dough over the tomatoes, making pleats as you fold and leaving the center of the tart open.
Bake the tart until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool on a rack.
Drizzle the top of the tart with a touch of olive oil and a sprinkle of coarse salt. Slice and serve with a simple, lightly dressed salad.
Eggs are our household go-to breakfast item, but I often find myself making the same thing over and over again (fried egg sandwiches, egg/avocado toast, scrambles and omelettes). This morning, I was feeling creative and with some extra time on my hands decided to surprise my husband with something new. I perused the garden, pantry and refrigerator for inspiration – the end result was this deliciously creamy polenta breakfast bowl filled with smoked bacon, veggies and roasted tomatoes topped with a pillowy poached egg.
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped (I also added a few shishito peppers from the garden)
5 pieces of applewood smoked bacon, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tomato, roasted
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup polenta
Apple cider vinegar
Baby spinach (crispy kale is also a great substitute)
Scallions, chopped for garnish
Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. While oven is preheating, place bacon pieces in a heavy skillet over medium heat and cook until crispy. Remove pieces with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper-towel lined plate. Drain fat, leaving about a tablespoon in skillet for the vegetables.
Place sliced tomatoes on a small baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt. Roast in the oven for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until slightly chard.
Prepare two saucepans; add 1 1/2 cups of water to one for the polenta and fill other 3/4 way with water for the poached eggs. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to the saucepan used for the eggs. Bring both to a boil.
While water is boiling, add the peppers and onions to the skillet used for the bacon, season with a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat until tender. Transfer to a bowl.
Slowly stir in the polenta and continue to stir until all the water is absorbed. Reduce heat, add in the milk and butter and continue to stir until thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Keep pan on low until ready to serve.
Crack egg in a small bowl. Once the water comes to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Using a spoon, swirl the water in one direction creating a whirlpool effect. Carefully slide the egg in the center of the whirlpool. Repeat with the second eggs. Let eggs cook for about 3-4 minutes (depending on how you like your poached eggs). Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
Quickly wilt spinach (add pinch of red pepper flakes) in skillet.
To assemble, divide polenta into two bowls and top with onions/peppers, spinach, bacon and poached egg. Add in roasted tomato slices and season egg with salt and pepper. Garnish with scallions.