Fresh ingredients like basil, lemons and later summer cherry tomatoes, shine in this easy dish that is so easy to make………and yet, your family and friends will be impressed for such and elegant meal!⠀
Serves 4 to 6
Ingredients:⠀ For the Salmon:
One whole salmon fillet, with skin on, 2 – 2.5 pounds
1/2 lemon, sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil⠀
2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely minced
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram leaves⠀
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 clove garlic, finely minced⠀
Kosher salt, to taste⠀
Freshly ground black pepper⠀
1/4 bunch whole fresh basil, for garnish
Lemon slices, for garnish
⠀ For the Roasted Cherry Tomato Relish:
3 pints cherry tomato⠀
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
A few sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar ⠀
1 small bunch basil, cut into chiffonade⠀
For the Relish:
Preheat oven to 450° F.
Toss cherry tomatoes, garlic, shallot and thyme with olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the tomato mixture out in a single layer and roast, tossing once, until tomatoes are blistered and beginning to burst, 20–25 minutes. Let cool and set aside.
Add the tomato mixture to a large bowl, along with the red onion, balsamic vinegar and basil. Toss the ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper. Set aside.
For the Salmon:
Preheat the oven, set to broiler.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using clean paper towels, pat the salmon dry and place on the prepared baking sheet.
In a small bowl, mix the dried herbs and garlic powder with the olive oil. Rub the seasoning mixture all over the salmon.
Place the salmon in the oven and cook under the broiler for about 3 minutes.
Remove the salmon from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 300° F. Place the lemon slices over the salmon and return it to the oven and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes or until the salmon is easily flaked with a fork, depending on the thickness of the fish and the temperament of the oven. Be careful in not to overcook the salmon.
To serve, carefully lift the salmon along with the parchment paper and place on a large serving platter. Top the salmon with the roasted cherry tomato mixture, and garnish with lemon slices and fresh basil leaves.
This recipe is so versatile that any thick fillet or fish steak can be used in the place of salmon. Excellent substitutes are swordfish and halibut.
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September is a time of transition, as late Summer gives to an early Fall. Fruits like blackberries, raspberries and melons will still be available during this time. Be sure to check your local farmer’s markets, as harvest times tend to vary. Please note that this list will help you know when to look for what at markets near you. So, check out the list below for a quick guide to the top in-season fruits and vegetables for the month of September,as the Summer is coming to a close.
Figs originated in Asia Minor and were brought over to America in the 16th century. Figs were historically used to sweeten dishes before refined sugar was an option, and they continue to be used in such a way in many parts of the world today.
While dried figs are available all year around, fresh figs are usually available in the summer and fall. They taste like a mellowed cross between a peach and a strawberry. Their unique texture, and ability to be simultaneously chewy, soft, and crunchy, is what makes fresh figs so appealing and popular.
Varieties of Figs
There are several different varieties of figs. They range in colour from green or greenish-red when ripe, to the deep purple that most people are familiar with.
The most commonly recognized varieties are: Black Mission figs, Brown Turkey figs, Adriatic figs, or Calimyrna figs. Taste-test each of them to determine which type suits your palate best.
What Goes Well With Figs?
Fig Serving Ideas
Figs are commonly stuffed with a tart or blue cheese and wrapped with prosciutto to be served as an appetizer, but honeyed figs and roasted figs are wonderful with yogurt for a snack or for breakfast, or with panna cotta for dessert.
Figs can be made into a jam or a preserve that goes well with pastries, crackers, or toast.
When roasted or grilled, you can add figs to a salad for some sweetness and texture as well. Or if you’d like, bake a cake and gently press figs into the top. It’ll look impressive to see fig halves studded on top of the cake showing their beautiful jewelled centers.
How To Select and Store Figs
The best figs should be slightly wrinkled, yet still plump with a little bit of a bend at the stem. Figs that are too hard or too firm indicate that they were picked before they were ripe. Depending on the variety, they should have a deep colouring and a sweet smell to them. Any sour odor means you should put that fig down and exchange it for another.
Figs are very fragile, so look for “perfect” figs that aren’t too squishy, don’t have any splits, milky liquid at the stem, or the obvious: no mold.
Figs are best consumed within a couple days of purchasing. They can be kept in the fridge, unwashed for that time, but make sure to cover any foods that may give off an odor as the figs can absorb that smell from sitting in the fridge like milk.
If you do happen to have some unripe figs, store them at room temperature on the counter and they should soften and get a little sweeter. Note that figs do not ripen after they are picked, so avoid unripe figs if you want to have soft and sweet ones for eating fresh.
How To Prepare Figs
Figs are often made into preserves or dried to take advantage of their delicious flavour. However, fresh figs are delightful eaten out of hand given their soft, sweet flavour and chewy texture.
Figs can be roasted at 375°F with some red wine or liquor, sugar, and lemon zest, with the cut sides facing up or down in the pan. Cooking them facedown will make them softer, while they’ll be firmer if baked with cut side up. This is a great way to extend the shelf life, and when roasted they’re delicious in the morning with some yogurt, pancakes, or served as a snack with cheese and crackers.
Preheat your charcoal or propane grill and brush a little olive oil on the figs. Grill until lightly charred. Serve in a salad or on some fresh bread topped with crumbled goat cheese.
You can make fruit brûlée as well. Halve the figs and sprinkle a little sugar on top (raw, brown, demerara, whichever you choose). Use a brulée torch (or your oven on broil, watching carefully) to melt the sugar until caramelized (not too burnt). Let harden and serve alone or with a little burrata or fresh mozzarella.
To create a sort of blooming flower or star, cut the fig as if you were cutting it into quarters, but leave a centimetre or so uncut. Pinch the bottom to squeeze the insides up a bit to make the cut tips spread out into a star. Stuff with whatever you like: chopped walnuts, gorgonzola or another favourite cheese, and/or a honey drizzle.
Cook your figs into jam, preserve, or roast with honey for a sweet spread or treat.
Figs are quite mellow in flavour, but cooking or drizzling them with honey, balsamic vinegar, or warm spices enhances their natural sweetness.
Be sure to enjoy your figs within a couple days because they are highly perishable.
According to the Canadian Nutrient File, figs are extremely nutrient dense. They have high potassium and fiber content which is reported to help combat heart disease and lower cholesterol levels. On top of that, they’re rich in antioxidants — both in their fresh and dried form (albeit higher in antioxidants in dried form). Per 100 gram serving (about 2 figs), figs contain 12% of your daily fiber, 6% manganese, 7% potassium, 4% magnesium, 4% calcium and 2% iron.
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