Backyard farmer's market

I didn't have to go far today to create a farmer's market feast this Saturday. Our garden is not big, but it produces some delicious little jewels seasonally that we relish with delight!

Fresh figs have been blossoming for the last two weeks and we have been enjoy their short-lived bounty. Our dog, Kiva, have also enjoyed them! She loves to stand by the tree and nibble off large bites of low hanging fruit until she has had her fill.
The black missions have already come and gone, and now we are enjoying the Celestes, a larger, more fleshy variety.

Butternut squash is just ripening now. It is one of my favorite fillings for ravioli or simply baked and scooped out and mashed with sweet cream butter and a drizzle of chestnut honey.

Nestled in soft grass, as if sleeping in hibernation until ready and ripe.

And the basil is full and flowering all summer long, but never quite happy until the tomatoes arrive.
We planted tomatoes late this year and only the smaller, golden and red sweet 100's variety, one of my favorites.

We barely have enough to create entire salads at a time, so I often nibble on them as they ripen, a delicious warm summer snack.

Arugula is always abundant, we just have to pick it while it is still small and not too spicy hot or thick and leafy from the searing summer sun.

But nothing beats the abundance of the farmer's market. Grab a basket and see what's growing in your neighborhood this week!

Smith made my fig jam recipe from last year {hard to believe, already!}. Every year it changes, depending on what kind of liquor we have around the house. This year, we made it with a splash of Lillet red, one of my favorite Italian aperitivos.
Here is another one of my favorite recipes, especially good when cooked over a hardwood grill.

8 figs, cut in half
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil
salt and pepper
1- 6 oz. . piece of haloumi cheese, drained on paper towels. {A salty, briney Greek cheese found in the specialty section}
1- 6 oz. jar olive pesto
½ cup Spanish Marcona almonds {I like these fatty variety because they are packed with flavor, but you can use regular almonds too}.
crusty Italian bread, like a fennel and sultana raisin

To grill figs:
Gently toss figs with olive oil and season lightly with kosher salt and pepper.
Place figs cut side down on grill over low flame and cook just until soft and almost jam like , about 3minutes . Remove to platter. Drizzle with chestnut honey.

Place cheese in center of two overlapping fig or grape leaves. Spoon olive pesto in middle. Wrap leaves around to cover and secure with two soaked skewers in criss coss fashion. Grill over med high flame on both sides until leaves are crisp and cheese begins to soften and melt. Place on platter and to top with squeeze juice of ½ of lemon.

To assemble cheese platter:
On large platter, place figs to one side. Open up leavesto expose the cheese. Sprinkle a mound of almonds between the cheese and figs . Serve with toasted flatbread.

Buon appetito!
copyright 2008 Alisa Barry


Hungry Passport said...

When I spotted your close-up of a cherry tomato rolled up in a leaf, held by the hand of an unseen person (yourself, holding the camera in the other hand, I'd imagine), I rubbed my eyes and did a double take. Then I checked my own blog. Within a few days of each other, you and I posted almost identical pictures. Take a look!
Brava on a lovely blog, which I'm just discovering. I look forward to reading more of your entries.
best, Carol

Hungry Passport said...

P.S. I see you're an Atlanta gal. I'm a Memphis expat in LA, but I still write about Southern things. Edible Atlanta carried my story on kudzu, and it included a recipe for kudzu blossom jelly. Perhaps you should consider adding THAT to your lines of goodies! (in the Dolci, y'all, category) Cheers! Carol