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Fig Conserve & Fig Syrup

The figs have finally ripened into deliciousness. We have five trees of which three have produced a good harvest this year. The birds are doing there thing on the top branches that I cant reach and I have plenty to pick off the lower branches – it’s a great understanding.

What I love about this recipe is that you get two products for the effort of one – a lovely deep pink fig syrup to pour over yoghurt, muesli, dessert, smoothies, just about anything AND you have a chunky fig conserve to blob onto chunks of Brie, Gorgonzola…you can fill in the rest….yes, even toast for the more pedestrian of tastes.

  • 2 kg Figs
  • 50ml Lemon juice
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • A cinnamon stick (optional)
  • Thyme and ginger (optional)

2 kg of figs – trim of the stalk end and cut into quarters.

Put into a large heavy based pot and add 50ml lemon juice.

Add 3 cups of water and cook on a medium heat for an hour – stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Line a colander with a piece of thin cotton or muslin (I use a piece of an old favourite white cotton shirt) Place the colander on top of a smaller pot and tip the stewed figs into the colander. Leave to drain well.

Put the fig pieces back into the original pot with 4 cups of water – at this stage I like to add some fresh chopped thyme or ginger, or both. Add 2 cups of sugar – I prefer brown it’s less sweet  but which ever you prefer.

Cook on medium, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed, it must not be swimmimg in sauce.

While that is going -

Add a cinnamon stick to the syrup and 1 cup of sugar. (Don’t use powdered cinnamon, it will cloud the syrup)

Boil on medium, stirring occasionally until the sauce goes a lovely deep pink colour and is a syrupy consistency - also about 20 minutes.

Have your jam jars sterilized and dry – I like to finish mine off in a hot oven, turned upside down to, to get rid of any moisture left in the jars.

Bottle the fig conserve into the jam jars while still hot and seal the lids.

When the fig syrup is ready, pour into warm sterilized bottles using a funnel. I recycle glass fruit juice bottles or tomato sauce bottles for this. Seal the lids tight.

Store both products in a cool dark place or cupboard. Once open , keep in the fridge.

I got 4 jars of conserve and 2 small bottles of syrup from these quantities.



Summertime Salad Dressing

This salad dressing comes from my newest and truly unique recipe book  ’Bought, Borrowed & Stolen – Recipes and Knives from a Travelling Chef’ by Allegra McEvedy.

The recipe is Japanese in origin – but wait till you taste it, you’ll want to drizzle it over everything! I make a big batch of it because it stores well in the fridge for a good ten days. It’s a good idea to make it in a wide mouth container – I use a Consol jar, so that you can get a spoon or small soup ladel into it to ladel out the peanuts-

Rising Sun Salad Dressing
1 Chilli – or more if you like volcanic flavours
A handful of plain salted peanuts
1/2 Cup of soy sauce (please use Kikkoman not some thick, over salty, caramel coloured and MSG laden variety – it really does make a difference to the subtle flavours of this sauce)
1/2 Cup of rice wine vinegar
1 Cup of mirin

In a food processor or pestle & mortar, roughly chop the chilli and peanuts. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and spoon over the salad.



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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in viagra pas cher your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain

Ditalini with Borage ~ Ditalini con la Borragine

From Seasons of Sicily by Natalia Ravida, this simple and delicious recipe using Borage leaves. It embodies simplicity and using what you have available in your garden.  Believe me – we have this dish quite often when the Borage leaves are big and healthy – no one should have to buy tired, travel weary spinach leaves off the supermarket shelf.

Natlia recommends that we drink a cup of the  Borage broth for it’s therapeutic  properties – it is good for curing coughs and bronchitis among it’s many other benefits.

A big bunch of Borage, washed thoroughly

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 Small onion, chopped

A packet of Ditalini or other short tubed pasta

4 Tblspoons Ricotta or Goats Milk cheese

1 cup of fresh grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese

Bring water to the boil in a stock pot or pasta pot. Add the Borage, a bit of salt and cook until tender (5min). Drain the Borage, keeping the water for that all important broth. Finely chop the Borage.

Warm a glug of Olive oil in a pan  and cook the onion with 2 spoonfulls of Borage water until soft (5min). Throw in the borage and saute over medium heat for about 3 minutes.

Add more water to the stockpot and bring to the boil. drop in the pasta and cook til al dente – according to packet instructions.

Mix the pasta with the Borage in a serving bowl, blend in the Ricotta or Goats cheese with a couple of spoonfls of the grated cheese and drizzle with more olive oil. Mix well and serve immediately.