I had a bit of an unexpected day off from work, today – I had to get nasty cancerous things cut off my delicate skin – so… into the kitchen to properly heal!
It only makes sense, right?!? I mean… food is medicine, food is healing. Throw in some butter and a bit of alcohol and it’s downright holistic!
Tonight’s helping of healing holistic happiness comes to us because fresh figs have hit the east coast! I just love me some figs and with a really short season back here, I have to get them when I can.
But before I could start making a mess in the kitchen, Victor was making the first tomato salad with tomatoes from the garden.
Red, ripe, juicy tomatoes with Sicilian Olive Oil, basil from the garden, a bit of fresh garlic, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Pure flavors and pure simplicity. If the garden gods cooperate, this will be a regular dinner feature.
And on to dinner…
My first thoughts when approaching fresh fruits is almost always dessert. Let’s face it – if I had my way dessert would be renamed breakfast and treated as such. But, every now and again I have to think outside the sugar bag and come up with something savory.
Tonight is a great example…
I did a sausage and grapes a while back so the concept wasn’t unfamiliar… I just needed some inspiration.
Chef Google came to the rescue.
I found a recipe on a site called Idiot’s Kitchen that sounded promising… Figs, marsala, mushrooms – all things already in the house. Since I’m infirm, I didn’t want to have to go to the store.
While Idiot’s Kitchen used a pork tenderloin, I used apple sausage from Martin’s Meats at Reading Terminal Market. I have a planned trek back down there towards the end of the month for more goodies, so I have to use up the stuff in the freezer! Apple sausage… fresh figs… sounds like a marriage made in gastronomic heaven.
Figs and Sausage
adapted from Idiot’s Kitchen
- fresh sausage
- 4 oz pancetta, large dice
- 1 med onion, chopped
- 8 mixed mushrooms, sliced
- 1 lb fresh figs
- 6 oz Dry Marsala (sweet will work if that’s what you have)
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- S&P, to taste
In a large skillet, brown sausages in a bit of olive oil. They don’t need to be cooked through – they’ll be going back to finish in the sauce.
Remove the sausages and add the pancetta. Preferably, you will have a couple of thick cuts of pancetta that you can cut into 1/2″ cubes. If all you can get is the pre-diced 1/4″ package, just be really careful not to overcook it. Lightly saute the pancetta, rendering the fat but not crisping it.
Add the onions and cook for a minute or two and then add the mushrooms. Cook until the onions are cooked through and the mushrooms have given up much of their moisture.
Add the marsala and bring to a boil. Add the figs and reduce the heat to medium and simmer until sauce is reduced by half. Add the sausages back in and add 1/3 cup chicken broth.
Simmer until sausages are cooked through.
Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper, as desired.
We ate this up with slices of crusty bread – perfect for dunking in the tomato juice and the fig juice. It made a lot – way more than the three of us could eat – so Victor has lunch leftovers while I’m at work.
Yes… I have to head back to work tomorrow. I took off Saturday for my niece’s graduation party.
I’m thinkin’ that if there are more figs to be had on Sunday, I might make a fig jam… Figs, marsala, and pistachios might go well together…