Figs: purple, beautiful and bursting with sunshine. That is my early autumn treat. The ones I found at the shop were coming from Turkey, but I was actually quite surprised to learn that fig trees grow well in this country too. On our recent trip to Bristol, we saw numerous fig trees all over the city, and today, as I went for a walk during my lunch break, I saw a big one getting over the wall of a garden. I had a closer look: it was covered with fruits. However, they were not ready to eat yet. I’ll go back next week for sure to have another look! I love figs, fresh or dry and recently I have been cooking a lot with them. I’m perfectly fine eating them, but Luke found them a bit hard to digest, so I had to be careful not to serve too many of them or he would have bad stomach pain.
But it’s not only the fruit I am fond of. I like very much fig tree leaves as I find they have a beautiful shape. A few years back, I had tried to convince my dad to plant a fig tree in my parents’ garden but was unsuccessful. We planted an apricot tree instead, which is nice enough, but sometimes I wish we had a big fig tree. This recipe works well as a starter if, like me, you like mixing sweet and savoury flavours. This is something I particularly appreciate doing with cheese. Add walnuts and this looks like a nice autumn plate. Fig Carpaccio with Goat’s Cheese and Walnuts Balls – serves 4
• 6 figs, very finely sliced
• 200g fresh goat’s cheese
• 2 dry figs, very finely chopped
• 40g walnuts, chopped
• Salt, pepper
• 2tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 3tbsp olive oil
1. Arrange the fig slices in small plates, like a flower.
2. In a bowl, mash the goat’s cheese with a fork, to soften it, and mix it with the dry figs and some salt and pepper.
3. Put the chopped walnuts on a plate. With your hands, roll mini balls of the goat’s cheese mixture, and roll them in the walnuts. Repeat the process until you have used all of the mixture.
4. Place the cheese balls on top of the figs. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and drizzle some balsamic vinegar and olive oil on top.
Carpaccio de Figues et Billes au Fromage de Chèvre et Noix – pour 4 personnes
• 6 figues, coupées en fines tranches
• 200g de fromage de chèvre frais
• 2 figues sèches, coupées en petits morceaux
• 40g de noix, émincées
• Sel et poivre
• 2cs de vinaigre balsamique
• 3cs d’huile d’olive
1. Répartir les figues en rosace dans des assiettes à entrée.
2. Dans un bol, écraser le fromage de chèvre à la fourchette afin de le rendre souple et y ajouter les figues séchées, du sel et du poivre.
3. Mettre les morceaux de noix dans une assiette. Faire des billes avec le mélange au chèvre, en en roulant un peu du mélange entre les mains, puis les rouler dans les noix. Répéter jusqu’à épuisement.
4. Arranger les billes de chèvre sur les figues. Assaisonner avec du sel, du poivre, du vinaigre balsamique et de l’huile d’olive.