Tag Archive for Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Figuratively Eating

I’ve had an ongoing love affair for a while now. . .

My husband knows all about it. . .

Figs. . . sweet, savory, sliced, diced, baked, puréed or sautéed. . .

By themselves or with blue cheese, goat cheese, mascarpone, prosciutto, carmelized onions, arugula. . .

Our neighbors have a ginormous fig tree that we are welcome to help ourselves to.

Last year, annoyed by its vigorous spreading growth~ they severely pruned it . . .

So, no figs :(

This year, it grew back bigger, stronger, faster.

 We battled the birds and walked away victorious with some of its delicious fruit~

 One of several quick ways we enjoy them~

 Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Spread with goat cheese while baguette slices are warm, add figs, drizzle with honey and some cracked black pepper.

If you’re not in too big of a hurry~ add a bit more goat cheese on top of the figs, pop in the oven for 5 minutes for the goat cheese to melt a little and warm the figs.

We’re usually in a hurry :)

At the end of summer, I had the fig blues. . .

The tree was done. The figs at the Farmers Market were gone.

My love affair had come to its “Same Time Next Year” phase.

 My sister turned us on to figs in a jar to satisfy our cravings~

And this tasty trio of flavors~ Dalmatia® Fig Spread, Brie & Meyer Lemon Cookies~

So figs in a jar would have to do~ since figs we typically find in the grocery store are over ripe & overpriced.

Last week, I opened House Beautiful’s October issue, in search of The 2011 Kitchen of the Year Tyler Florence designed at Rockefeller Center and spied a recipe of his I had to try~

 Fig and Ricotta Pancakes. . .

 

Desperate for figs, I was afraid I would have to fly to California to visit Jain~ who has been tempting me with her fig ice cream, cake, pizza & chocolate-dipped creations~ and return with a stash in my suitcase.

Fortunately, my grocery store saved me airfare with a pristine shipment just in~ beautiful, big figs~ not over ripe~ and on special, no less :)

The October House Beautiful issue is appropriately titled, “Happiness starts here!”

From Tyler’s Kitchen, courtesy Tyler Florence

Spiced Fig and Ricotta Pancakes

Serves 4, makes about 12 pancakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole-milk ricotta

  • 4 large eggs, separated

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • ¼ cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon each ground allspice, cloves, and cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  •  unsalted butter

  • 10 fresh figs, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, add the ricotta, egg yolks, buttermilk, lemon juice, and lemon zest and stir until well blended. Stir in the allspice, cloves, cinnamon, and vanilla.

  2. In another bowl, or parchment paper, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

  3. In a third bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.

  4. Fold the dry ingredients together with the wet, then carefully fold the egg whites into the batter.

  5. In a large nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat.

  6. Arrange one large fig slice for smaller pancakes or three small slices in a circular pattern if making larger ones. Carefully ladle the batter over figs and cook until bubbles rise in the center of each pancake. Turn pancake over and cook for another two to three minutes. Repeat with remaining batter and figs, adding butter to skillet as needed.

  7. Serve with real maple syrup and any remaining fig slices.

 

Happiness does start here. . .

and a  2,500 square-foot dream kitchen complete with Mauviel cookware doesn’t hurt either :)

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

Winery Dogs of Napa Valley

Winery Dogs of Napa Valley ***** by Elaine Riordan

I’m joining Jain with my Edible Book Review at Food for Thought, where “pages from your book magically mix with the kitchen and your camera”.

 “In this second edition of Winery Dogs of Napa Valley, the dogs are as wild, lovable, and funny as ever. They frolic in alfalfa fields, befriend the farm animals, and chase rabbits and gophers all day long. They eat grapes, large cooked chickens, fine cheeses, and whole cherry pies. They lead double lives as show dogs and magazine models. And when it comes to marketing, these dogs can sell wine like nobody else. Guests find their charms irresistable, and winery families and employees can’t imagine a day’s work without their best pals beside them.”

 This book called my name when we ran across it on a recent trip to Napa. Although I only met a couple of  winery dogs on our brief trip, this book is a great keepsake with beautiful photos of the lucky dogs who live there, featuring 96 Napa Valley wineries.

“From tiny toy poodles to rottweilers and bullmastiffs, winery dogs come in all shapes and sizes. They arrive at wineries as puppies or adults. They come from breeders, friends, shelters, or newspaper ads. They are surprises on doorsteps, in garbage cans, or under bridges. They are shy or bold, mellow or full of energy. And in no time, whatever their size and origin and temperament, they fit right in.”

“Winery dogs are greeters, tasters, entertainers, herders, healers, protectors, hunters, chasers, celebrities, and sales enhancers. Older dogs train the new ones, bigger dogs protect the smaller ones, and all of them get on remarkably well with winery cats. They ride in winery vehicles; they run beside employees in the fields; they sit nicely as visitors arrive for tastings. Better companions would be hard to find.”

“Rowdy” at Hess Collection Vineyards is apparently appropriately named since he loves to chase the tires of the ATVs. We had a nice visit enjoying the wine and the art collection but since it was a rainy day, no garden or grounds tour :-(

My reaction when I discovered we had a day of HEAVY rain ahead. . .

 So we had to drink wine to pass the time :-)

This was a recommended pairing with our Hess Viognier~Apricot and Prosciutto Thin Crust Pizza, recipe here

 

“Posip, a nine-year-old Australian shepherd/Border collie mix, was named for the white wine that owner and winemaker Mike Grgich makes in Croatia.”

Gruyère cheese  paired with our Grgrich Hills Estate Petite Sirah~

Tessa, Czor, and Elvis are descended from a German line of Bernese mountain dogs and serve as the winery’s most visible ambassadors. V. Sattui has a great gourmet market & deli~ with everything you could want for your wine country picnic, to be enjoyed on their picnic grounds. Tessa, the most gregarious, is happy to mix and mingle with the hundreds of visitors stopping in each day, and has been known to  occasionally snatch a salami from someone’s shopping basket :-)

 

The camera gods were not smiling upon me on this trip…we discovered the camera we brought had given up the ghost when we arrived, but you can see a video and get a feel for the deli and the grounds here.

 

 V. Sattui Madeira ~ paired with Blue Cheese

Pinta, a twelve-year-old terrier mix, Jack, a mellow four-year-old black Lab, & Rufus, a Norwich terrier~ with a bark described by some as a “supersonic weapon”~ Swanson Vineyards

During our delightful visit, which you can read more about here, we were greeted by a camera-shy Tallulah, who rested under the table for our tasting. Read more about the “resident mongrel bon vivants” here :-)

 Ally is a liver German shorthaired pointer that was rescued from a shelter in Michigan when the director of winegrowing, Rick Aldine, found her online and paid for her plane ticket, saving her from being put down. Her partner in crime these days is Gunner (also pictured on the cover of the book), a silver Lab who likes to chase deer & dig for gophers.

 

Fig and Goat Cheese Brushetta paired with Chandon Brut Classic~ a quick & tasty appetizer, especially if you cheat and buy fig preserves. I used chopped hazelnuts instead of walnuts. A recipe is here if you want to make your own fig jam.

This handsome guy is Romeo, appropriately named and our greeter at Hope & Grace in Yountville. Not featured in the book, but I included him since he was so well-mannered and introduced us to some really great wines and restaurants while we were there :-)

Bacon and Wild Mushroom Risotto with Baby Spinach~ paired with our Hope & Grace Pinot Noir , recipe here.

And Chloe & Gracie’s recommendation~their Sweet Potato Curry cookies. . .

Paired with their favorite Chardonnay~

Chloe says: “Nicely fresh on the nose with classic oak spice tones and a creamy mouth feel support juicy orange and peachy fruits. Refreshing acids keep this lively and engaging” :-)

“…winery dogs are inextricably connected to the culture, spirit and essence of the wineries they call home.”

Great Wine (& Dogs!) are cheaper than therapy :-)

Be sure to visit Food for Thought and see what everyone is reading & eating!

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