Black figs, feta and red wine recipe by Selin Kiazim | Food
Bmiss figs are one of my favorite fruits. I like them on their own or in dishes like this with salty cheese. Eating a fig will immediately take me back to my grandparents’ garden in Cyprus. They have a big old fig tree and when I was a young girl there was nothing better than sitting under its hand shaped leaves eating fruit after fruit. I am always excited about fig season every year and will always plan certain dishes for our restaurant menus; this recipe, in several iterations, has appeared more than once. You don’t need to go all the way to the nine yards on this in any way. If you only have time to crack a few figs on a piece of toast and then crumble on some cheese, do it. Whichever route you take, don’t eat figs out of season. They’re the absolute worst, and even worse because they’re so magical when fully ripe.
For 4 people
Red wine 100 ml (strong)
dark brown sugar 40g
beet 1 small or ½ large, peeled and roughly chopped
the vinegar 1½ tbsp (red, white, apple cider or moscatel)
black figs 6-8, perfectly ripe, quartered
feta cheese 50-70g (I like to use sheep’s milk feta)
chive 5, finely chopped
sea salt flakes
extra virgin olive oil
In a small saucepan, combine the red wine, sugar, beets and vinegar and heat over medium heat. Bring to a boil and reduce for 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture takes on a syrup-like consistency. A good way to test this (if you’re not sure) is to put some syrup, straight out of the pan, on a small plate. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes to chill. When you take it out and the syrup fits on the plate without flowing too quickly, then it’s ready. If it sticks completely to the plate and does not drip, add a little water to the pan and adjust to low heat.
Strain the syrup (discard the beetroot) and let cool to room temperature.
To serve, coat the figs with the syrup. Arrange on plates then crumble over the feta. Sprinkle with chives, sea salt flakes and a drizzle of your best extra virgin olive oil.
Of Three by Selin Kiazim (Quadrille£25)