It was love at first sight when I spotted the tray at the grocery store. Luscious ripe black figs arranged in even intervals from another. Trays upon trays of them, winking at you, whispering at you to take them home and do naughty things to them. Things involving your tongue, your lips, their sweet juices dribbling down your throat...
*Ahem* Well, now that I'm all hot under the collar I'd best abandon that train of thought, right? But oh those figs. Heavy with the promise of their indulgently sweet insides. Mmmm I just can't get enough of it. Whomever first hinted that figs were the food of romance sure knew what he/she was talking about.
I had to procure my own little bit of heaven. And so I went back to the store. Grabbed the top tray. Inspected the perfect specimens inside. Sighed with enjoyment. Rushed to the till. Then rushed home. Oh yes, TheHusband was also part of this whole exercise, but he seemed somewhat less enamoured with the whole deal. No, I don't know what is wrong with him that he remains unaffected by the lure of the fig.
Anyhow, when I got home I immediately took my knife to these beauties. Split them in half. Again. Drenched them with the goodness of balsamic vinegar - it accentuates their sweetness - and olive oil - because... ah... well you can't go wrong with olive oil.
The aromas escaping from that oven could've made me a lot of money had I the wits about me to somehow bottle it. And sell it to gullible people much like myself. Alas, I did not do that. Instead I mixed them into pasta with a few leaves of spinach and a good amount of crumbled feta.
And then we sat down, just the two of us, and enjoyed every last mouthful. Now whoever said that Thursdays were pedestrian?
Fig, Feta & Spinach Spaghetti
Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories
250g whole wheat spaghetti
3 tbsp olive oil
12 ripe black figs, cut into quarters
splash of balsamic vinegar
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 large bunch spinach, chopped
200g feta cheese, crumbled
salt & pepper to taste
1. Cook spaghetti in a pot of salted boiling water until al dente.
2. Meanwhile, drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar over the fig quarters. Place in oven at 180C for 10 - 15 minutes.
3. Heat the remainder of the oil in a large frying pan, add the garlic and fry for a few seconds.
4. Add spinach to the pan and cook for a few minutes or until wilted (you might need to add a splash of water to ensure the spinach doesn't burn).
5. When pasta is cooked, drain and toss with spinach, feta and figs. Add salt and pepper to taste and optionally another splash of balsamic. I prefer it with the added splash, TheHusband likes it plain.
Variation: Leave spinach out and replace with ribbons of zucchini (made with a vegetable peeler).