As a child the idea of a fig was revolting. There always seemed to be Fig Newtons in our house (although I’m not sure who ate them) and that was the only sort of fig I knew.
Now that I’m grown I see the beauty in the fig. When they are fresh they are so beautiful cut open revealing their gorgeous seeds and colorful skin.
In our house we always seem to have some sort of sauce or chutney to accompany different dishes…this could be because I’m married to someone from England (don’t they eat a lot of chutney?) or it could be because they are just so easy to make…in any event, we were at our little vegetable shop and at the checkout they had packages of dried figs so we picked one up.
Last night my sister-in-law commented on one of our photos and asked if we had been using Branston Pickle, which has a similar look. All I can say is, Pip, the idea of that Branston Pickle in its jar is almost as revolting to me as the idea of Marmite…mind you we have both in our house…and despite my love for all things British those are two I’ll pass on!
We began by chopping the dried figs into small bite sized pieces. We added them to a small sauce pan. We then added some water, salt, pepper, red wine, star anise, a bay leaf and a shallot which had first been cooked down.
It is that simple. You just let it simmer until it is gooey and thick.
This is a very versatile accompaniment. It can be served cold (as shown above) on a cracker with a good cheddar or hot atop a lovely piece of pork. We actually served it both ways, when it was first made it was to go with some pork that we were having for dinner. The next day it was cold and lovely for lunch on these crackers.