The Fruits of my Labor...

It is not that often that I end up writing simply just about a recipe or single technique. Not that that is a bad thing...hell, it is awesome. I just seem to find myself working things from a different angle, and then coming back around again to accomplish the task in my own way. I tend to approach my writing in a more free-form manner, up front and personal, with nuances of sass. However, today I am just writing about the Fig, particularly the Black Mission Fig. I have been roasting them lately for various different applications and dishes, with much success. The flavor of the fig right now is quite tasty, and lends itself well to some very cool pairings~ Foie Gras...Veal...Squab...Artichokes...Duck Prosciutto...Salumi and Charcuterie...Artisan Cheeses and so on, and so forth. Anyway, I am not here today to ramble on about the possibilities, yet offer you a simplistic way to prepare them with a very versatile outcome. You can prepare them and then decide how you want to marry them with others, or keep them to themselves all by their lonesome! Here is what I did~

First, I placed "nuts"(as one of my French mentors used to call them) of butter around a stainless or copper saute pan. Then, I cut the fresh figs in half and placed them around the pan with just enough room to see the bottom. They were nice and snug so as to allow for not to much drying up in pan, yet enable some movement of convection in and around the fresh fruit. A small cluster of fresh thyme, pineapple sage, bay leaf, rosemary, some sliced shallots and a clove or two of fresh whole garlic were placed on top. Next, I generously sprinkled Fleur de Sel de Geurande over them with fresh cracked black pepper. Lastly, a drizzling of some great Late harvest Zinfandel Vinegar from Katz and Co. sealed the deal before heading into a 350 degree nirvana. This basted away in the oven for approximately 15-18 minutes, or just until the figs started to get soft, yet maintaining some natural texture and integrity.

They were pulled from the oven, and allowed to cool at room temperature until we then sent them on to their next mission and purpose. We have even used them for sweet applications, with minimizing the salt, omitting the garlic and adding a bit of Tuscan heather honey or wild blackberry honey. Mosto cotto or saba would be quite nice as well.


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