Vegetables Every Day

Vegetables Every Day
Carrot Tarator with Beets

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Abundance

In all the talk about eating seasonally, I think we miss the abundance that can come when a crop is ready to harvest, or an animal ready to slaughter.  In our modern world of supermarkets and even farmers markets you can get pretty much whatever is in season (and a lot that isn't), in what ever quantity, all for $3/lb or $30/lb or whatever price the market will bear.

But you never buy 15 pounds of lemons....

Or a hundred plus pounds of fish (only 40 or 50 of these belonged to my dad and brother).


Or even 5 pounds of figs....

(sorry, no picture)


This kind of abundance spurs creativity to figure out how to eat it everyday, how to preserve it, how to share it.  It lowers the risk of trying something new.  This abundance is something that we usually miss if we don't grow it or pick it or kill it ourselves (or have friends, family or neighbors that share generously).

I have a friend with a fig tree, and a few weeks ago I helped pick some of the figs.  They are the green figs (I'm not sure which variety), not the purple mission figs (which I don't really like).  I ate some fresh, some in yogurt.  I made jam.  We grilled some after a big fish dinner (another case of abundance) and served on ice cream with chocolate sauce.  To grill the figs, I just cut them in half (didn't even peel), and put on the grill for 5 minutes or so.


And I  made a Clafouti.  It's a French dessert, pronounced "klah/foo/tee". It's kind of a cross between a flan and a cake, with a lot of fruit it.  I like them because they are unusual, not too sweet, and not too much trouble to make.  They are traditionally done with cherries, but you can use most any fruit... that you have in abundance!



Fig Clafouti
Serves 6

1 lb small fresh figs, peeled and halved
¼ cup orange liqueur (like Cointreau)
1 lemon

2 large eggs
¼ cup sugar
¾ cup milk
½ cup flour
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon sliced or slivered almonds

Combine the figs and liqueur in a medium bowl.  Add grated zest from the lemon, plus about 2 teaspoons of the juice to the figs.  Stir and let sit for an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 350F (or 340F convection bake).  Coat an 8-inch deep dish pie pan (or something similar, like a cast iron pan) with butter or cooking spray.  Pick the figs out of the bowl (leaving the syrup) and place into prepared pan.  Put the syrup in a smaller bowl (use a rubber spatula to mostly clean the bowl).

Combine the eggs and sugar in the same bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until pale yellow, this will take several minutes.  Add milk, flour, salt, and reserved syrup, beat to blend.  Pour the batter over the figs, sprinkle with almonds.

Bake until puffed and golden, 45 to 55 minutes (or 40 minutes on convection bake).  Let cool about 20 minutes to serve warm.  Also good at room temperature, refrigerate the leftovers for breakfast.  


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