Sometimes the simplest dishes are the best. A plate of freshly steamed samphire with a knob of butter, a moule mariniere with crusty bread to mop up the sauce, a mature chunk of cheddar with a crisp apple, a boiled egg dipped into cumin powder, fresh tomatoes with fresh basil and buffalo mozzarella drizzled in the finest extra-virgin olive oil, fresh asparagus dipped in butter (have you noticed there’s a butter theme going on here!). I could go on but in this day and age when many chef’s are pushing boundaries and creating new flavour sensations and wowing us with their scientific approach to the culinary arts it sometimes comes as a welcome relief to sit down and eat a meal that is not complicated and flash but is simple and truly delicious.
For those who have been following my blog for a while will know, I don’t really have a sweet tooth, well certainly not the kind to have dark chocolate cake/torte/mousse at the end of the meal. Growing up my favourite puddings were rhubarb crumble, pavlova, custard tart and anything with nuts in. Mr B on the other hand loves all the old English puds and often puts a request into my mother at around Christmas time to prepare one or two – things like jam roly poly, spotted dick, treacle pudding, tiramisu – she’s good at making all these, so I let her run with it.
Generally speaking we tend to just pick on fresh fruit at the end of the meal, which is not only delicious but also satisfying and involves no effort or preparation.
I recently came across a pudding however that immediately catapulted itself into the top league of puddings after the first mouthful. It involves 7 ingredients and can be whipped together very quickly.
Saffron and Cinnamon Honey with Figs and Greek Yoghurt
adapted from Greek.food.com
5 figs, halved
2 large tbsp thick Greek Yoghurt per serving
2 tbsp honey
1 large pinch of saffron
1 large stick of cinnamon
40 g white sugar
300ml cold water
1. In a saucepan place the cold water, sugar, honey, cinnamon stick and saffron and stir thoroughly until the sugar has completely dissolved. Simmer gently for around 15-20 minutes. Do not over cook as the liquid will turn into a thick toffee substance, which you do not want to happen.
2. On a serving plate/bowl add a generous dollop of Greek yoghurt and place three fig halves on top of each mound of yoghurt.
3. Finally gently spoon the scented honey over the figs and yoghurt having removed the cinnamon stick first and serve.
Note: You can also gently heat the figs in the honey for a minute on both sides, however I tend to prefer them fresh with the honey drizzled on top. Try both and see which you prefer.
As you are likely to have some sweet scented honey left over the following Scandinavian influenced open sandwich works a treat with the sweetness of the honey and the saltiness of the cheese and prosciutto/parma ham.
Open Sourdough Sandwich with Prosciutto, Cheese, Rocket, Peach and Scented Honey
Per Serving you will need:
1 slice of sour dough bread
1 slice of prosciutto
2 slices of cheese – I used Italian Taleggio La Baita above, but crumbled soft goat cheese also works really well
small handful or rocket/arugula
1/2 (half) peach
drizzle of scented honey (re above recipe)
pinch of coarse black pepper
I tend to make this open sandwich in the following order: bread, prosciutto, cheese, rocket, peach (or can be before rocket), honey and black pepper.
It makes a very satisfying lunch as the flavours compliment each other so well. For this photo shoot above I used white flat peaches but I think the sweet yellow flesh peaches would probably look more attractive on an open sandwich.