It’s autumn, but still warm. We’ve the tail end of the summer produce (those with greenhouses are probably still picking peppers and tomatoes) and some new autumnal favourites inspiring me to make soup and simmer long cooked stews. I’m also really enjoying the figs from Turkey and contemplating how to make the most of a gift of quinces.
Fruit and Vegetables
Fennel (baby and full size); Beetroots; Broccoli, Dirty carrots (always the best, they keep so much longer); squashes in all shapes and sizes; Leeks, Pumpkins, Onions, Spinach; Swiss chard, Parsnips, Quinces, Wild Mushrooms, Figs, plums, pears.
Meat and Fish
Crab, Sole (Dover, Lemon), Lobster, Squid, Mallard, Goose, Guinea Fowl, Chicken, Veal, Beef,
This is so easy, quick and delicious (adapted from a Waitrose recipe)
- 4 large figs (just wash gently, no other preparation needed)
- 1 orange juice extracted and zest grated
- 100 grams soft brown or demerara sugar
- 4 cardamon pods crushed
- 300 ml water
- Greaseproof or non-stick paper
- Serves 2
- Find a saucepan that the figs fit snugly into. You do not want it to be too big as they will not stay immersed during cooking.
- Put everything except the figs into the saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn down the gas so it is just bubbling. When the sugar has dissolved, put the figs into the liquid.
- Bring back to a good simmer (lots of bubbles, not boiling).
- Place a circle of greaseproof paper over the figs to ensure they stay mostly under the water.
- Cook until soft. This will depend on how ripe your figs are - mine took about 10 minutes -they should be soft to the touch.
- Remove the figs to the bowl you'll eat from and boil the syrup to reduce it by half. Cover the figs with the sauce and add ice cream or cream.