Archive | September 2013

Glorious Fig Spread

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I have eaten my share of figs, any and all kinds, over my lifetime, but never more than this year. The volume and quality of the figs this year are unsurpassable. I doubt I will see another year like this; this was definitely fig year.

My absolute favourite way to enjoy figs is raw, in their natural sweet ripe state, particularly for breakfast. In my family, it is not unusual to pair them with a piece of toast in the morning.

That’s why the idea of fig jam has always confused me. When at their peak, figs ooze a jam-like consistency better than any preserve one can buy. Besides, I don’t like adding sugar to something so naturally sweet. I understand wanting to preserve figs; for those of us who enjoy them, the season is never long enough, but I prefer to eat them fresh.

Hence, this glorious spread. Truly, food for the gods. Sweet figs and pistachios, creamy avocado, and hemp seeds (to boost the protein content) that pop, rounded off by a hint of spicy nutmeg and sweet fennel seeds. This spread makes my mouth sing. Every bite is accompanied by tones and undertones of hemp, nutmeg, and fennel seeds; a floral, fruity symphony.

As another breakfast alternative, try this instead of yogurt with rolled oats. If there are leftovers, this spread works well in a sandwich with lots of mesclum mix and grilled veggies such as eggplant or zucchini for a light lunch. It is also a very nice complement to an assorted plate of appetizers and serves as a beautiful bed for an all mixed green salad.

Served on a croissant, it doesn’t get any better than this! Hello sunshine.

Makes 4 oz / 1/2 cup.

Ingredients:

Figs 2
Pistachios 1 tbsp (approx. 15)
Avocado 1/4
Hemp Seeds 1 tbsp
Nutmeg Pinch
Fennel seeds 5

1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients until you achieve a smooth consistency. This spread tastes even better the day after, after all the flavours have had a chance to get to know each other better.

2. Spread mixture over toasted bread.

Breakfast Sandwich

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I don’t let a weekend go by without doing something special for breakfast on at least one of the two days. However, from time to time, mustering up the energy, even on the weekends, is difficult. This is my go-to breakfast for when I’m feeling a little tired from my week, but still want something weekend worthy because it’s quick and delicious. It’s the perfect example of how you don’t have to slave over the stove for hours to enjoy something delicious.

We treat ourselves to our favourite breakfast place, Stone Face Dolly’s,¬†once a month. It is the only place I will order a breakfast sandwich, the vegetarian bobby mac. They seem to get it right, simple but full of flavour.

This breakfast sandwich is my attempt to recreate the bobby mac at home. They serve theirs on a homemade slice of molasses toast. It’s good, but I think it is better on the Art-is-In buttermilk multiseed bread. It’s buttery and sweet and a perfect complement to the sandwich contents.

If you haven’t as yet experienced Art-is-In bread, you absolutely must. It’s the best bread in the city. These people take their bread seriously, so much so that you can taste their love of everything bread in every bite. They offer a wide variety; you’ll delight in trying them all. Be warned. Once you’ve tried it, there’s no turning back.

The only other change I make is the substitution of the mushroom patty with caramelized oyster mushrooms. If I started making mushroom patties, it would definitely not be a quick breakfast. Besides, I actually think the sandwich tastes better with the oyster mushrooms. Grilled oyster mushrooms also work beautifully though the combination is less sweet and slightly smokey. Try it both ways for a slight variation.

The sandwich is bite after bite of deliciousness!! Buttery, sweet bread, caramelized sweet oyster mushrooms, sweet ripe tomatoes, and somewhere in there is nestled a fried egg, only slightly runny adding creaminess and substance. I have said this before, I normally don’t enjoy eggs for breakfast, but this is the exception. I serve it with a big side of whatever fruit is in season.

We spent the weekend in a quaint cottage on Big Rideau Lake. We were looking for some much needed rest and relaxation. Made this sandwich for breakfast on Sunday. It took little effort, allowed us to ease into our morning, take in the view, and delight in deliciousness. Definitely food that travels well.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

Bread, slices, buttermilk multiseed, toasted 2
Mayonnaise 2-3 tsp
Cheddar, slice 1
Oyster mushrooms 3 oz
Egg, fried 1
Olive oil
Salt
black pepper
Tomato, sliced, small 1

1. In a small pan, heat 2-3 tbsp of olive oil. Add oyster mushrooms and cook until caramelized. Remove from pan.

2. Toast bread slices.

3. In the same pan you cooked the mushrooms, add egg. Season with salt and black pepper. Cook as you like it, runny or hard.

4. To assemble, spread mayonnaise on one piece of toast. Add cheddar slice. Follow with caramelized oyster mushrooms. Top with fried egg. Add tomato slices – season tomato slices with salt and black pepper. Top with remaining toast slice.

5. Cut in half. Serve with side fruit.