The Dog Days of Summer
It's hot outside. Very hot. Too hot to cook. On days like these, I just break down and buy figs. They're not local to me, but they are in season in warmer climes such as California and Greece. I was hoping to have my own crop this year, but my fig tree has not appreciated the cool spring we had, so I probably will not be harvesting any fruits.
Figs are versatile fruits: sweet and tender, they are perfect for simple summer desserts; meaty and flavourful, they also lend themselves well to savoury dishes. On sweltering days, they can even replace an entire meal. Just crumble an unripened cheese -such as fresh goat cheese or feta- over halved figs. A drizzle of olive or nut oil is optional.
Figs pair well with robust flavours like thyme, rosemary, and honey. They are particularly suited to roasting, just follow this recipe for roasted peaches for a simple dessert or the basis for a salty-sweet starter. Or you can do as the Italians do, and wrap quartered figs with slivers of cured ham.