This is the best season for cooking, when autumn isn’t quite here and summer produce is still juicy, ripe, full of flavor and color. For my first class in Louviers since returning from the U.S. (and with fond memories of corn on the cob, grilled lamb, tomatoes galore, and oh so many cocktails!), we’ve had a feast of figs, a treasure hunt of forest cèpes, pistou that tastes of the season’s best, poached egg in a butternut nest, sweet-as-heaven nectarines en gelée, and more. Wish you were here!
FRESH FIGS BAKED IN WINE
LES FIGUES FRAICHES AU VIN ROUGE
16 fresh figs
2 heaping tablespoons sugar
1 cup (250 ml) rich red wine, such as a wine from the Languedoc
1/3 cup (80ml) filtered water
3 tablespoons honey
2 branches fresh rosemary
- Wipe off the figs with a clean towel and cut them in half, vertically. Place them in one layer, cut side down, in an oven-proof dish, sprinkle them with the sugar then pour the wine over them, along with the water. Bake until they are tender but haven’t lost their shape, about 30 minutes. Remove the figs from the oven.
- Carefully pour the cooking juices from the figs into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the honey and the rosemary and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the liquid has reduced to a thin syrup. Remove from the heat and reserve.
- To serve, arrange 2 figs in a shallow bowl, and pour an equal amount of syrup around them. Garnish with the fresh rosemary, and serve immediately.