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Posts Tagged ‘figs’

Whew, that title was a long one! I never really know what to put for my blog post titles. Sometimes I want to be creative, but I feel like I need to be descriptive and tell you exactly what recipe the post contains. I guess I’ll just see how it goes. But for this one, I knew the name of the recipe itself was enough to draw you in šŸ˜‰ Sounds tasty, right?

Lately I’ve been trying to enter as many recipes contests as I can in an effort to get my blog out there. The other day I saw this contest onĀ Food52, a website thatĀ hosts weekly themed contests, and this one’s winner would get to be on the Martha Stewart Show! I know she gets a bad rap sometimes, but ever since I was little, I’ve been kind of obsessed with her. I want to be her (well, not including the jail time, and maybe with a little bit more of a sense of humor). Martha, if you’re reading this, I’m just kidding- I love you!

I believe this recipe came to me by divine inspiration. No, I wasn’t sitting in bed reading cookbooks when it happened. I had just stumbled across the contest mentioned above and it got me brainstorming. I was on another long walk home and so I started to think. I knew I wanted to use the flavors of the bruschetta I made a month ago but somehow incorporate it into a tart. I was trying to figure out what type of crust to use when it came to me: Rosemary Cornmeal. I was also thinking I wanted some sort of jam to make it more tart-like so I decided to turn the figs I had used in the bruschetta into a jam.

I had all the flavor components in mind but wanted to alternate salty and sweet layers. I thought I’d make the crust have some sweetness to it, and I had the fig jam, prosciutto and pears, but I needed something else salty. I decided to spread a thin layer of blue cheese between the crust and jam. I also added a touch of balsamic vinegar to the fig jam to make it sweet, but tangy too.

Now, I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I’m going to make a bold statement and say, this could be the best food I’ve EVER eaten. Like so good I’d eat it instead of dessert!

Yep, you heard me right. This tart is better than dessert. You may be asking yourselves, “Has Amy gone off the deep end?” Well, I thought you would have noticed that happened long ago, but I promise this recipe is that good.

The rosemary in the crust is aromatic and shines through, the crust itself and sweet and crumbly, the tanginess of the jam pairs perfectly with the saltiness of the cheese and ham and the juicy sweetness of the pears, and the honey on top makes it truly decadent. Try it and see for yourself.

P.S. See my entry in the Food52 contest HERE.

Fresh Pear, Fig, and Prosciutto Tart with Rosemary Cornmeal Crust

Recipe by Me
8-10 appetizer portions

Crust:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (not stone-ground)
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh rosemary
4 to 5 Tbsp ice water

Filling:

1 3/4 oz blue cheese crumbles (about 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp)
1 recipe Fig Spread (see previous post)
4 oz. Prosciutto, roughly chopped
1 juicy fresh pear, cut in half, cored and then very thinly sliced
1-2 Tbsp honey

Put rosemary in food processor and process til chopped. Add flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt to food processor and pulse. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles course meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Drizzle evently with 4 Tbsp ice water and pulse until just incorporated. Gently squeeze a small handful. If it doesn’t hold together, add more water, 1/2 Tbsp at a time, pulsing after each addition and continuing to test.

Press dough evenly onto bottom and up sides of 9 1/2 inch tart pan. Chill crust until firm, about 30 min.

Preheat oven to 400. Bake crust in middle of oven until center and edges are golden, 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with blue cheese. Leave cheese to soften on warm crust for 1-2 min. After softened, spread cheese around crust (small offset spatula works best). Cool crust in pan on rack or in fridge until reaches room temperature.

When crust is cooled, spread Fig Spread evenly over crust. Sprinkle chopped Proscuitto evenly over tart. Arrange pear slices in 2 concentric circles over tart. Drizzle with honey and garnish with rosemary sprig if desired. Serve immediately.

Note: Tart will not be good served after refrigeration as pears will turn brown and crust will be too hard.


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Confession: I read cookbooks in bed before going to sleep. Is that weird? I love getting to think about all the things I still haven’t tried making yet. It’s exciting.

Reading cookbooks before bed has one downside: food dreams. I dream about food all night long and wake up hungry.

I don’t particularly like cookbooks with no pictures…I’m very much a visual person. I can’t imagine how the recipe will come out if I don’t see an example.

I learn best by example. I suppose this is why I love food blogs so much. Seeing the gorgeous photos of what other people make is so enticing.

Unfortunately, while figs are a beautiful fruit, fig jam is just…well, ugly. It’s brown, and brown isn’t appetizing. But, I promise it tastes delicious, especially when paired with a mixture of salty and sweet foods like in my next post: Fresh Pear, Fig and Prosciutto Tart with Rosemary Cornmeal Crust.

Sound good? You better believe it is! But for now, you’ll just have to look at these pictures before bed and hope that you get to taste it in your dreams šŸ˜‰

(Other uses include spreading on crackers, or making a similar tasting bruschetta like my oldĀ post, but using the jam instead of the chopped figs)

Savory Sweet Fig Spread

Recipe by Me
Yields about 1 1/3 cups

7 oz. dried figs (I used Mission)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Combine in pan, boil over low heat. Reduce heat and stir til resembles jam, about 25 min. Cool to room temperature.


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I recently discovered that dairy and I don’t get along, but have been having trouble figuring out what to cook that’s dairy free yet still tasty…especially since I don’t want to deprive Nate. I miss cheese but decided I’d make it my mission to make a tasty Valentine’s meal despite the limitations.

Last time I was at the grocery store I picked up a couple butternut squash and since they were laying around I figured I’d make some butternut squash ravioli. These typically have milk and cheese mixed into the filling but I used tofu as a substitute. I know it sounds unappealing, but I promise you can’t taste it! It simply adds a creamy texture. I also had some mushrooms and pears, so I made a simple sauce with sauteed mushrooms, shallots, walnuts and a bit of pear.

I also wanted something yummy as an appetizer to hold Nate over til I finished making dinner. Bruschetta is always easy so I contemplated the tasty combos and decided on adding fresh fig and prosciutto. Unfortunately, the store didn’t have any fresh figs, so I got some dried ones and took them home.

I looked around, still unhappy with the dried figs and came up with my Bruschetta with Prosciutto, Pear, and Chopped Figs with Honey Drizzle. And let me tell you…it was DELISH! All in all, a lovely Valentine’s dinner with my man.

I decided to enter this recipe in the The Great Peanut Butter Exhibition #10 – Things Are Heating Up! contest

 

Dairy-free Butternut Squash Ravioli with Creamy Almond, Mushroom, and Pear Sauce
Recipe by Me

Ravioli

1/2 butternut squash, cooked, and skin removed (prob about 3/4 cup total)
1 tsp fresh ginger
1/4 container of lite firm tofu
1/3 cup dairy-free milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk)
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
pinch of dried ginger
wonton skins
salt and pepper to taste

Sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil
16 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup shallots, thinly sliced
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sliced pear
1/4 tsp dried tarragon
2 Tbsp dairy-free milk
1.5 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp almond butter

Ravioli:

Put butternut squash thru dried ginger in food processor and process til smooth and creamy. Add more milk if needed.

Put 1 Tbsp filling on each wonton skin. Wet edges of skin with water and put another wet-edged wonton skin on top. Press edges well to seal. If needed, use a fork to press edges together.

Add ravioli to a pot of boiling water. Cook 2-3 minutes or until ravioli float. Remove to pan and toss with sauce.

Sauce:

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in pan over med-hi heat. Add mushrooms and shallots and saute until soft. Add wine and scape brown bits off pan.

Stir in walnuts, pear, tarragon, milk and almond butter. Stir and cook down sauce til slightly thickened. Add ravioli and toss well. If necessary, add pasta water to spread sauce out.


 

Prosciutto, Pear, and Chopped Fig Bruschetta with Honey Drizzle
Recipe by Me, makes about a dozen

1/2 baguette, sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices
olive oil
2 oz. prosciutto, thinly sliced
1/4 ripe pear, thinly sliced
6 dried figs
2 Tbsp honey

Brush tops of bread slices with olive oil and bake on cookie sheet at 350 for 10 min or until slightly toasted.

While bread is toasting, put figs in a bowl and pour boiling water over the top. Let figs soften for 10 min. Remove figs from water, pat dry, and chop into 1/4 inch pieces.

Top bread slices with a small piece of prosciutto, folded over. Top with 1 pear slice and 1 tsp chopped figs. Drizzle with honey. Serve immediately.

 

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