I am the first to admit that I get a bit ‘adjective-y’ when fig season comes around. They are hands down my favourite fruit; just so incredibly special and delicious. And so, with their precariously short season and even shorter shelf life, when the time comes; we binge, we pick and buy in bulk and we enjoy every single mouthful.
Last week I called in at Sam and Simone Statham’s Rosnay Farm near Canowindra. Just half an hour away from us, they grow organic figs, grapes and olives and with them, make beautiful, award-winning wine and olive oil. And at this time of year they also sell fresh figs both locally and into the Sydney markets, reserving some for their line of super popular products including figs in syrup, fig jam and dried figs.
I ‘ve been a long-time fan of this creative, hard-working family; there’s a story about them in my book, they were one of the first ever blog posts I did here and they live a gentle, thoughtful life here in the Central West. You guys should also note that they offer a terrific farm stay cottage for rent, definitely worth checking out if city-based and for a little slice of country life for the week or weekend.
With me on this outing was the lovely Helen (above) who spent all of last week doing work experience. And you can probably tell that I was just a bit excited to have another person to photograph and hang out with both in the kitchen and in the orchard.
Um – excuse me, check out the sugar syrup literally dripping from that fig above!!! Hello bee heaven…
And now….please note the platter above…which is pretty much my idea of grazing heaven. This little combination of creamy honey labne, crispy salty crackers and fresh figs is Helen’s creation and I could happily have it for dinner every night of the week and be a happy lady.
The crisp bread is a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe, re-created by Helen who is just back from a stint in London working in both his cafe and test kitchen (I know – how awesome). Since she made these for us last Thursday I’ve whipped up a batch myself for drinks on Saturday night and can vouch for both the easiness of the recipe and their deliciousness of eating. If emojis in blogs were a thing, I’d put in a big tick and thumbs up right about now!
500g Greek yogurt
1 vanilla bean
2 tbs honey
1 tsp salt
To begin, place a sieve over a medium bowl. Line the sieve with a chux dishcloth or muslin.
In a separate bowl stir all ingredients until combined. Spoon yogurt mixture into the chux, gather into a ball and tie tight with a rubber band. Refrigerate for 48 hours – the longer it is left, the thicker the mixture becomes.
When ready to use untie and place labne into a bowl.
Serve the fresh figs with crisp bread, labne, extra olive oil (Rosnay of course!) and maybe a glass of chilled prosecco.