As much as we might be sorry for summer being gone, this is a good time of year: it’s a rewarding combination of abundant produce and moderate temperatures. Truth be told, with all the raging heat waves this summer (four? five? I lost count.) I didn’t get to cook much. Too hot is simply too hot.
When the heat persists it’s best to resort to ice cream or slush, cold drink and dreamy shade. And spare your energy. I think the past season was the one I ate the largest quantities of ice cream ever. Ice cream lunch? Check. Ice cream dinner? Check.
In September there’s a lot of gorgeous fruits and vegetables on hand: sweetest figs, perfumey peaches, plump plums, meaty aubergines, reddest peppers, ripe tomatoes, to list only my favourites. If, like me, you’d like to extend the summer you can easily do so in the kitchen.
I’m adding links to three recipes that reproduce summer to perfection. You don’t have to be an expert cook (I’m not), just follow suit (others have already tested everything), it’s all very easy, and keep the feeling of summer going for a bit longer.
#figs #figs #figs Yesterday morning straight from the bed I climbed that seductive fig tree laden with #sweet, #sweetest of fruit. I picked two bags of them. Without falling down. Then I washed them and let them dry. Today, back home, I used the first batch to cook #figjam, my first attempt ever. Oh, people, this is #summer in a jar! Four summers that is. #summerstorage I followed a simply heavenly recipe by @we_are_food published in @guardian last year #climbingtrees #tomsawyer #sweettooth #homecooking #mediterraneanfood #colour #paradise #biblical almost
This was my first attempt at jam: it’s the simplest possible recipe, very easy to follow, no mess. Result: the most wonderful fig jam around. You’ll be impressed. So will the ones you’ll allow to eat it. One piece of advice: hide a jar somewhere safe so it’s not eaten too soon, you’ll thank me around Christmas.
Although Anna Jones’ recipe is perfect I added cardamom pods (six of them) instead of vanilla. I’m also told you can use a drop of orange blossom essential oil instead of the spoons of orange blossom water but I do have the water in my fridge. A really friendly part of this recipe is it uses a small quantity of added sugar. Very modern.
I made this galette many times before with different fruits: apricots & cherries, plums & peaches, poached quince. It’s a winner of a recipe. This time I used fresh figs (the ones I plucked off the tree by myself) and substituted regular with whole-wheat flour. I use Demerara sugar in my bakes. I also added mahleb to the dough but don’t worry if you don’t have it. Also, this time I didn’t have sour cream or creme fraiche at home, so I added buttermilk instead. I guess you could easily use yoghurt as well.
I served the galette with above mentioned fig jam as a side because I 0bviously lacked the sweetened creme fraiche (sour cream) recommended in the recipe. (Usually I would make it because it really does make a difference!) The galette turned out wonderfully. Perfect for breakfast.
Roasted peppers are my weakness: I love them. Ever since I read Luisa Weiss’ blog post (link above) on roasting peppers I’ve always followed her instructions because they make perfect sense: you want roasted peppers to be properly roasted. So, I let the peppers roast for an hour (I roast the long red, meaty variety, preferably the ones called Elephant’s Ears but any variety will actually do as long as they’re red and long and meaty), only I increase the oven temperature to 190°C. They’re perfect.
After they’ve been roasted one can have them any way one please. I usually only add salt, pepper, a generous glug of olive oil and maybe some chopped parsley but you can let your imagination go wild. Normally, I just can’t wait and want to start eating them straight away. (Apparently, garlic is a good companion but I wouldn’t know, I dislike raw garlic.) You can also use roasted peppers in sandwiches, sauces, condiments, or any other cooked dish (say, added to pasta, couscous, bulgur …). As I said, go wild if you want while I quietly sit in my corner with a plate of my modest version.
Another recipe with figs I wrote about last summer in this post: https://mrssage.com/peljesac-southern-dalmatia-croatia/
Another recipe with peppers I wrote about last autumn in this post: https://mrssage.com/just-another-autumn/