Maine’s days are getting a little shorter and its nights a little cooler. Both are met with open arms and a little sadness. As you know, I struggle with winter. Though I’ve learned to live with the weird chemical imbalances that come with the season, I truly love its accompanying beauty and starkness. It’s the darkness that bugs me.
Today, Chris and I were taking a walk at the ‘golden hour’; it was 4:00ish and the light was sitting low in the western sky, casting the most perfect light on the dirt road in front of us. I marveled at the magic of the sunlight. Maybe it seemed magical because we’re about to start our long journey into winter. I don’t know. In any case, I’ll take a season of darkness if it means I can see the most perfect light cast on trees’ full, green leaves and white trunks and the dirt roads that lead me to some place beautiful.
Not only will I miss the daylight come winter, but I will really miss the fresh produce (a sentiment I’ve said over and over).
I snagged a couple pounds of fresh figs at the market last week. I <3 figs. When I say <3, I mean I’m pretty sure I could eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s the sweet, rich, full-bodied amber flavor of figs that I love.
My first fig experience was, like most, with Fig Newtons. I actually remember the experience vividly; I was about 5 years old and I went with my mom mom to her friend’s house. Being the sweet, hospitable, elderly lady she was, we as her guests were offered food. In this case, it was a sleeve of the soft, malty fig cookies.
My first adult fig experience was at a little restaurant in Banner Elk, NC. It was a memorable one bite appetizer of warmed proscuitto wrapped figs and monchego, drizzled with honey.
With an ingredient as perfect as a fig, you need very little to enhance it. Keeping that in mind, I came across this recipe to use up some of my bounty: Fig and Almond Cake. I cut down on the white sugar that went into the cake to 2 Tbsp. and I didn’t miss the sugar one bit. There was a really great crunch from the almonds-I used course ground almonds instead of almond meal. As suggested in the recipe, this cake is perfect to accompany coffee or tea.
Aren’t these beautiful?!
For a savory response to the call of cake, I made a simple fig and goat cheese tostini. The base is a thick slice of toasted or grilled sourdough bread, slathered with a good amount of salted butter. On top of that, there’s a healthy layer of Honey Chevre (which I found at Trader Joes), thinly sliced figs, and a sprinkle of fresh rosemary. Simple. Delicious.
- 6 thick slices of sourdough bread
- Salted butter, room temperature
- 8 oz. Honey Goat Cheese* (See note above)
- 6 fresh figs, thinly sliced
- Fresh Rosemary
- Grill or toast the sourdough bread. Once cooled slightly, spread generously with salted butter.
- Add a layer of goat cheese.
- Top goat cheese with sliced figs.
- Sprinkle with rosemary.