14 September 2007
It's fall fig explosion!
Figs figs figs figs figs figs figs;
figs are the one thing I appreciate about living in California, hey let's have figs!
I cannot stop eating figs.
For one thing, I have a new place to pick figs. One tree is black mission and the other is a kind of fig I'd never seen before. They're rounder, are ripe when green on top and purple on bottom, and have honey-colored flesh and more delicate flavor. My brain is telling me to call them honey figs. Maybe they even are honey figs. I made a cursory attempt at research and came up with gigantic botanical monographs.
Then there was the pint or two of figs I got at the store the other day. It is all figs! I even ignored the big boxes of miniature kiwi, and you know that takes some concentration on something else.
Mostly I've been eating them raw, but the other day I decided to branch out. I've had Clotilde's fig and mozzarella sandwich recipe lying around in my binder for ages; this was clearly the time to try it.
Ok, you have to make one of these, you guys.
They are so good that it is hard not to immediately make another once you've finished one.
We don't generally have much basil or pesto around, so I rubbed some olive oil into the bread and subbed a bunch of flatleaf parsley. Then I added the mozzarella (plain) and figs, salted and heavily peppered, and stuck the business in the toaster oven.
I had one for dinner with champagne and salad. The salad was pretty awesome too, although it did not include figs. It instead included the first real fall produce of the season! Apple! Cabbage! Thank GOD, PEOPLE. I love fall! So the salad was all perfect and crunchy and fresh, and the sandwich was oozy and crisp and sweet, and the champagne was champagne. Ok, actually it was california blanc de noirs, but who cares.
Delicious it's fall salad!
red cabbage (or green!)
good apple (or pear!)
lemon zest (or orange!)
sesame seeds (or walnuts!)
salt. ONLY SALT; NO ALTERNATIVE.
Chop up roughly equal amounts of cabbage and apple. Do this as finely as possible. The whole key to this salad is knife skills. Ok, knife skills plus good produce. You want to end up with little matchstickies. Put them in a bowl with some salt; mix.
Scrape some lemon zest off a lemon. I just used a paring knife and then cut the zest into little strips, but if you happen to have a decent grater you can use that. Stick the zesty bits into the bowl. You should be able to smell tons of delicious lemon oil at this point. Stir the salad so the lemon oil gets everywhere and the apple doesn't brown. You can use some lemon juice too, but it has to be actually from the inside of lemon as opposed to a bottle of juice. Otherwise it will be gross.
Now take a big handful of sesame seeds and toast them in a little frying pan. Just put the pan over low heat and flip them around for a few minutes. As soon as they start to brown even slightly, they are done. Flip them out of the pan and into your salad bowl. They will hiss.
Now mix it up and eat it!! Yes! You definitely win salad.
Stay tuned for our next episode, in which Eileen uses cabbage AND figs at the same time! Somehow! YES PRODUCE!