Saturday, March 17, 2007

Weekend Herb Blogging #74

Becky from Key Lime and Coconut is hosting the edition of Weekend Herb Blogging.

This week the object of my desire are those tempting fruits - Figs.

figs

These are Black Genoa figs - in season from January to April here in Australia. A wonderfully sweet and succulent variety and one in which the skin can be eaten. You do have to check as some varieties the skin should be removed as it aggravates the lips and causes a rash.

Figs are part of the Ficus genus, a family that includes trees, shrubs and vines and numbers close to 800 species. The edible fruiting fig comes from one species called the Common Fig.

Nutritionally, Figs contain Lignin and Ficin, the former is an indigestible fibre and the latter, a mild laxative. These two ingredients help to make it a bowel friendly food. You'll also find Vitamins A, B6, C, E and K along with Calcium Copper, Folate, Iron, Manganese, Magnesium, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Potassium, Riboflavin, Selenium, Sodium and Thiamine. If that wasn't enough there's a slew of Amino acids and Beta-carotene.

The dish I have on offer is a homage to one I had on Sunday at Pearl Restaurant. All kudos go to Chef Geoff Lindsay for creating such a magnificent combination of flavours and a dish that visually, is equally stunning.

Along with figs the dish uses fresh Pomegranate and Buffalo Mozzarella along with fresh Pistachio, which was the subject of a previous WHB post .


pomegranate buffalo mozzarella

I've used a local Buffalo Mozzarella made by Shaw River though if you have access to the wonderful Italian originals I highly recommend using it. I'll delve into more detail on the Shaw River Buffalo Mozzarella in a later cheese post.

pomegranate seeds

The pomegranate in the dish is presented in two ways - one in the form of Pomegranate Molasses and the other the fresh seeds.

The one ingredient that is missing from the original dish is wild fennel seed - try as I might it couldn't be found. I had thought of changing to another type of sprouted seed but none would give that extremely subtle liquorice flavour so I made an executive decision to omit it and present a simpler version.

dish

Black Genoa Figs with Buffalo Mozzarella "a la Pearl"
[Serves 2]

2 Mission or Black Genoa Figs
Buffalo Mozzarella Ball
Pomegranate Molasses [I used Al-Ribah brand]
Fresh Pistachios, peeled and slivered [if not in season, use dried pistachios]
Pomegranate seeds

Cut each fig into quarters and space them out on your serving dish.

Rip the Mozzarella ball into roughly equal sized pieces and place them in between each fig quarter.

Drizzle over with a generous amount of Pomegranate Molasses, then follow with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and the slivered fresh (or dried) pistachios.

Serve at once.

closeup

The only trouble with photos is that they give no indication to taste - the buffalo mozzarella is wonderfully succulent and almost juicy, in a way you could say it has the same structure as the fig. The molasses binds the two with an unctuous sweetness, with the seeds and nuts offering a crunch to counter the soft elements. A dazzling way to start a meal especially in those warmer months.

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19 comments:

  1. what beautiful specimens those figs are! Gorgeous food and photos as always. Bravo!

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  2. So beautiful. I love fig, and your dish is worth trying. The combination of Mozzarella, Fig and Pomegranate Molasses must be wonderful!

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  3. Just fabulous. I'm imagining how wonderful this must taste.

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  4. Beautiful pictures! I love the colour combination.

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  5. That is simply the best post I've seen for a long time. Food should stimulate all of the senses and really make you want to eat it. If they could digitize smell you would be completely home and dry.

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  6. Haalo, this is sooo classy! What a beautiful dish!

    Now I know what I'll make next time I want to impress my friends when they come for dinner. ;)

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  7. Thanks Truffle - the figs are excellent so far into this season.

    Thanks Anh - the one i had the restaurant was so good i had to make it my self ;)

    Thanks Kalyn - hopefully you'll get to try it when figs are in season.

    Thanks Brilynn - the pistachios and the pomegranate seeds look fabulous together

    Thanks Trig - a transporter would be good then I could send it everywhere so you could all a taste.

    Thanks Patricia - they will think you've slaved over it and only you and I will know how simple it was ;)

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  8. This looks so gourmet ! beautiful combinations , great colours, i love figs !

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  9. Simply amazing! I only hope that one day I'll have even half your kitchen prowess!

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  10. Yum. I have a maturing tree of Genoas in the back yard, just starting to fruit.

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  11. I´ll plant a fig tree next week so some years to come I´ll harvest my own. Till then I link to your post to enjoy these smashing photos fram time to time.

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  12. Thanks Kate - there's nothing quite like figs!

    Thanks Astrid!

    Thanks Ellie that's really sweet of you.

    Thanks Kitchen Hand - I love eating figs straight from the tree but we have one of those varieties in which you have to peel the skin.

    Thanks Helene - you're going to love that fig tree when it finally rewards you with it's fruit.

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  13. wow beautiful photos~! the dish looks and sounds great. wish la was still getting figs!

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  14. Thanks Susan - that's the problem the seasons are too short.

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  15. Congratulations! A great food still life.

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  16. This looks so incredible -- I have major season-envy up here in New York! Just when I thought I was enjoying the spring!!! Stunning site, by the way. I'm so happy I found it!

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  17. Thank you so much Amanda, I must say you have a beautiful site, I can relate to your dreams of Florence, it's a place that I wish to return to.

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