Tag Archives: Figs

Drying out …

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No i’m not talking about giving up the vino of course, a little less I have admit now it’s back to school time, but drying out some of summers bounty to preserve its sweetness and flavours for the coming cooler months, prolonging that taste of summer just a while longer.

My grapes were picked and put out to sunbathe for tiny raisins or currants, to be used in baking over the autumn or sprinkled in salads or cereals for breakfast.  Drying grapes in our area of Spain is very local tradition, which is celebrated with the ‘Ruta de Pasa‘ a lovely drive through the mountains’,taking in scenic whitewash villages, who lay out the grapes on the mountainside to dry beautifully in the Anadalcuian sunshine.  These will then by turned into unctious sweet Malaga wine and sweet delicacies.

Drying grapes at La Rosilla

Drying grapes

Delighted this year I had a bumper crop of figs, fresh chutney was made, that will be enjoyed with strong cheeses and roasted meats, but I tried something new, I sundried my figs too .. for recipes such as ‘pan de higo’ a delcious figgy roll that is enjoyed as a tapa, or after dinner with a rich PX sherry and a slither of cured goats cheese.

Heres how to do it…

Picked, wash and halve the figs.

lay out seperately on trays lined with kichen paper.

preparing figs for drying

preparing figs for drying

Cover with fly nets and lay out in the sun to sry for a few days.  Bring in at night if where you are the morning are damp.

When the figs are dry and chewy, store in an airtight container and enjoy.

Dried figs at La Rosilla

Dried figs at La Rosilla

I also dry my tomatoes in the sun, you can read about that here.

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Last Supper

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My ´Supperclub´has had a balmy summer, travelling to venues and houses of others, but ´Supper on the terrace´where it all began, some three summers ago , holds a strong place in my heart, albeit harder work, not only cooking all day, but my house has to be ship-shape, and the family have to be in Bristol fashion.

As the nights are drawing in, I decided that I would have to have my ´Last Supper´of the season, under the stars, and grapevine, whilst I could still guarantee warm temperatures and no rain.

With my No1 daughter back in Blighty now to study, she is normally my right hand girl, my steadier of nerves , and my entertainer, it was time to rope in my OH who at dinner parties is Host extroidinaire, never an empty glass, and often many a guests found on the sofa the next morn, but at ´Supperclub´front of house is not his forte.  No 1 son was also bribed to pitch in  but  he conveniently broke his big toe at school that afternoon.

Never a dull moment at La Rosilla.

So with a full house booked, prepping began in earnest, tables were laid, cutlery polished, candles lit, jazz tunes on, mojitos were mixed, and guests arrived.

Mountain living in Spain, allows me to use the most wonderful produce, that surprisingly many local eateries don´t celebrate.   Catering also for regular Vegans and veggies, who find the local approach of patatas cooked in pork fat with pork cooked in every conceivable manner the main choice on a menu – lets me offer them a welcome taste bud change, and also gets my creative mind going.

Supper on the Terrace

So what was ´The last supper ´.?

I scoured my overloaded recipe book-case, picking out old favourites, comfort food, dishes packed full of life & flavour, Ottolenghi´s Caramelised Endive & Serrano ham, Cranks´Broad Bean Pilaf & braised carrots with cumin, garlic & saffron to name a few.  Home baked rosemary and walnut rolls were served with a satisfying soup of butternut squash & almonds picked from my trees, and dessert was a sorbet of fresh picked figs  & port (the last off my tree 😦 ) , with a dark chocolate twirl.

Caramelised Endive & Serrano

Light faded, the moon shone, wine flowed and chatter got jovial,

I joined my guests with ´one for the road´and my OH was chief pot washer….well he could have done front of house ; !!

So as the season comes to an end, and the temperature drops, it has to drop soon surely ? I look forward to welcoming guests ´around the Kitchen Table´ for Autumn feasts and winter banquets.

As always La Rosilla – Unique & delicious

Family, frolics, ferias & figs.

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By now at this time of year, I am operating on autopilot. Copious amounts of fun, food, ferias and frolics are starting to pay its toll, not to mention the complete families birthday celebrations to boot. August at La Rosilla is one hectic time.

But just as I think, ‘that’s it no more DETOX please’, another invite, another birthday, another do to plan, pops up.

In between all the revelry, I try and snatch the odd few mins, to take stock, and one of my favourite ways to do this is to indulge in gods on food FIGS straight from the tree. They took their time this year, to be ready and dripping from the tree, or maybe it was just the fact I was waiting, salivating for their ripeness.

Figs matched with some of Andalucia finest other ingredients creates a dish to be proud of, try it I’m sure you’ll agree,

 

Figs, baked with Goats cheese, wrapped in Serrano ham, and drizzled with cana miel.

  •  Take a handful of figs, cut a slit in the top of each, and stuff with a wedge of Goats cheese.
  • Wrap each fig in a slice of Serrano ham.
  • Fit figs snugly in a baking dish.
  • Bake in a hot oven for 15 mins, till oozing and soft.
  • Remove from oven and drizzle with Cane honey.

Savour and enjoy and mop up the juices with crusty bread.

Heaven on a Plate.