Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Figs

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We all know I love figs. I also have a mad crush on sweet potatoes. I dreamt up this recipe while trying to come up with as many was as I could to include figs in a recipe. I turned to the world wide web for more inspo and it seems that someone beat me to the chase. Not just anyone, but the great Yotam Ottolenghi (Yo-TAm Oh-toe-LEng-he) of Plenty, Jerusalem and more. We are big Jerusalem fans in my family. Thank you for that Claire and Mike. 

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Roasted sweet potatoes are such a staple. Throw my favorite fruit with it and you have an insane side dish. So easy, but impressive. Just what I'm about. 

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Figs adapted from Jerusalem 
yields 3-4 servings

Ingredients:
2 large or 3 medium sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes (optional) 
4 figs, stems removed and quartered
2 green onions, whtie and green part sliced on an angle
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Directions:
Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 475 degrees. (I've been using my toaster oven like crazy in this summer heat to avoid heating my whole house and to avoid an extreme electricity bill).

Slice your sweet potatoes into wedges. Slice in half lengthwise, then in half again, and then again, so you get 8 wedges from one potato. Place the wedges on a roasting sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.  Roast for 20-25 minutes, flipping them halfway through. 

When your potatoes are almost done, it's time to start making the balsamic reduction. In a small sauce pan, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 2 to 4 minutes. The balsamic with thicken. You will know when it easily coats the back of a spoon. If it gets too thick you can add a few drops of water to thin it out. 

Arrange the potato wedges and fresh figs on a platter.  Sprinkle over green onions and drizzle with the balsamic reduction. 

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Annie

Flavor of the Month: Figs

Duh. If you follow me on instagram, I'm clearly having a fig moment. I think July was the month of matcha, but August is the month of figs. Figs have come a long way since the fig newton days. Nothing against fig newtons, but fresh figs are like little culinary gems these days. 

Fresh figs peak about this time, but snatch up these little beauties while you can, they are only good through early fall. Don't worry, dried figs can carry us through the dark months. Some tips on buying figs: look for ones that are plump, not mushy and rich in color. Black Mission and Turkey figs are probably the most common found in stores, they are the dark purple ones. If you can find them, I really love the calimyrna or kadota figs, bright green in color and bright pink on the inside. Figs are easily perishable so eat them within at least 2-3 days of purchasing. Keep them refrigerated. To prepare: run them under water and remove the stem. Keep scrolling for eye candy fig dishes that I'm coveting! 

Roasted Cauliflower with Figs and Olives from Brooklyn Supper

Fig Scones from Making Today Beautiful 

Beef, Fig, & Red Onion Balsamic Skewers from Every Last Bite

Pizza with Figs, Honey, Ricotta and Thyme from Whole Living

Salted Caramel Fig Blondies from Take A Bite

Strawberry Fig and Almond Butter Smoothie from Take A Bite

Fig and Tomato Orzo Salad from Take A Bite

Fall Cheese Board from Honestly Yum

Cardamom Layer Cake with Salted Caramel and Figs from Erin Made This

Are you feeling my fig moment too? What's your current flavor of the month? 

Annie

Fig and Tomato Orzo Salad

Hi! Say hello to my lunch I've had all week! Spach the Spatula's Instagram of this fig and tomato orzo salad popped up on my feed a few weeks ago and I was sold. Rachel is fueling my fig frenzy and totally on the same page about this fab fall fruit. This fig quesadilla, nutty fig smoothie, like OMG.

I made a big bowl of this salad Sunday and have been enjoying it all week in my lunch. Such a good change of pace from my lamo spinach salads.  Components include fresh figs, tomatoes, goat cheese, basil and a balsamic reduction poured all over it. Rachel used blue cheese instead of goat cheese which I'm kicking myself for because I am so pro-blue cheese I just read the recipe wrong. The goat cheese was great it sort of melts over the warm pasta, but next time it's blue cheese for sure! I also used basil for my herb because I'm pretty proud of  baby basil plant in my backyard. I try and sneak it into whatever I can.

Fig and Tomato Orzo Salad
Adapted from Spache the Spatula
 
Ingredients:
1 cup dry orzo pasta
2 Tbsp. good-quality olive oil
1 cup halved cherry or plum tomatoes
1 cup quartered black mission figs
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (or goat if you don't like blue)
2 Tbsp. fresh basil
salt and pepper
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
 
Directions:
Cook the orzo according to your package directions. Drain and put into a large bowl, and toss with the olive oil.
Over medium heat reduce your balsamic vinegar by about half to create the glaze.
Add in the tomatoes, figs, cheese, and basil to the orzo, and toss to combine. Season, to taste with salt and pepper and drizzle generously with the balsamic glaze.
 
 
Makes a great lunch, perfect side dish or for a bite here and then straight from the bowl in the fridge... Take a bite amiright? Oh also good heated up a bit, just a tip.

Annie
 

Bites of My Life

I didn't even realize how many amazing bites I had last week until I put today's post together! Blondies, breakfast toast, calamari, burrata and peach board, the best fried chicken and an excellent croque madame are all pictured. The Campbell's lentil soup (not pictured) eaten on the couch in my pajamas while watching Bachelor in Paradise wasn't so bad either. 
I leave Wednesday for California and I'm itching to get out of town for a few days! If you have any Newport Beach/Laguna Beach recommendations please send them. I'm already planning on stalking LC, Lo, Kristen and Stephen's frequented places but I could use some more ideas.
-A little something something for my morning drink. Drank plain it tasted like a milkshake!
-Up close with the salted caramel situation that happened in my Fig Blondies posted last week!
-Doesn't get better than this. 
-Loved getting to share Keercha with you guys last week. Don't forget to order your sandals (15% off for TAB readers)!
-Excellent fried calamari and sister time at the new Tommy's.
-A summer picnic a la Packard's! Peaches, burrata, pesto, country ham and toast.
-Fried chicken, okra and good company always makes the trip to Oklahoma's oldest bar worth it.
-Obsessed with our new fringe friends. Oldest sis and mom also have one, we are so embarrassing and can no longer go in public together anymore.  It's like the Juicy flats circa 2006 all over again. 
-Such a lovely brunch celebrating my sweet Yelp bosslady and her baby on the way. The croque madame from Bonjour is a win.
Annie

Gettin' Figgy With It

Let the fig frenzy continue! With a bunch of figs on hand, I sort of forced myself into this fig frenzy. I had to find a way to use them all up! I used them in my Strawberry Fig and Almond Butter Smoothie and had been waiting to finish them off in these blondies!

Fresh figs, lots of brown sugar and butter and salted caramel. What could go wrong? Oh wait did I mention there is vanilla bean it it too? A recipe for success! I love a good blondie (more than brownies I must admit). With the addition of the fresh figs they honestly resemble the taste of a fig newton. The fig taste is strong which I love.

Salted Caramel Fig Blondies adapted from Hippopotamousse

Ingredients:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
2/3 cup flour
1 vanilla bean or 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 figs, cut into 1/8ths
10 caramel squares
sea salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 square pan. 

Add the sugars and butter to an electric mixer and cream until fully combined, then beat in the egg. Sift in the flour and mix until incorporated. Cut the vanilla bean in half and scrape the caviars from it with the back of your knife. Add in the vanilla beans. Take the bowl off the mixer and fold in the figs with a spatula. Spread the mixture out into your prepared pan.

In a microwave safe bowl melt the caramel squares and a few sprinkles of sea salt in 30 second intervals. Once your caramel is melted drizzle it over the top of your blondie batter. Sprinkle a few more shakes of sea salt over the top.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before you cut them!

Annie