Figs are the supermodel of the food world. They photograph brilliantly, so they lounge on the cover of every on-trend cookery book (in which the writer calls them blatantly sexy words like ‘pert’ and ‘luscious’ to get you interested), and they grace the pages of expensive food magazines, all covered in honey and sprinkled with violet petals. Yup, figs are a great colour and they photograph well. Try it, it isn’t hard – chop one in half, take a picture on your phone and see how good it looks – with not even a scrap of make-up.
The problem IS…. getting them to TASTE any good is not so easy. I have splashed out on them several times, followed some random oven-baked recipe that one is supposed to smear mascarpone on afterwards and as I’ve chewed on the slightly sludgy, seedy, not-very-tasty result I’ve thought to myself: Hm. Figs. All talk and no flippin’ trousers.
BUT the other day I tried again. I bought some – on special offer of course – and I chucked on a load of things that I hoped would make them taste better. An experimental method not quite in the Heston Blumenthal style but one that is often worth a go. If it doesn’t taste all that, add something that might make it taste better.
This is ridiculously easy but has the lip-smackingly great taste of something much more complicated. It always gets comments of ‘yum how did you make this?!’
I didn’t make it up, it comes from the River Cafe Easy book. I scrawled it down from a friend’s book, and I can’t remember if I’ve adapted it, but I think not. The quantities below are based on what I’ve end up doing myself, as I do it from memory when I make it, but it’s basically River Cafe’s recipe.
I use a net bag of value courgettes, and cheap frozen peas. It takes about half an hour from ‘ooo I fancy some soup’ to spooning it into your mouth. What’s not to like?
The trick, as with many of the recipes on this blog, is in the GARNISH. It’s all in the garnish, man, if you leave out the parmesan and basil at the end, it’s still nice, but it’s not….. quite as lush.
Here’s how to make it:
Hello!! And what innovative, eye-catching food-porn do we place before you today?? Celebratory tap dance..
So why post about something so basic? (Some would say ‘plain’ and what they really mean is boring). Well, because this humble oatcake is not boring at all, it’s exactly the kind of home cooking that Life Is Jam is about – making everyday food yourself so you can cut out the fattening, unhealthy junk that people put in packet food, and so you can enjoy it more. These little tasty crunchies are:-
Easy, tastier than shop bought, cheaper than shop bought, better for you (no palm oil or other junk, just a little bit of butter), more satisfying to eat because you made it yourself and finally, they are customisable so you can choose your own flavours.
The below makes about 210 grams, or 27 biscuits. Total cost 26p.
- 100g oats (7p)
- 100g plain flour (7p)
- 15g butter (definitely not marg) (6p)
- ¼teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder (2p)
- 85 ml water and milk mixed (4p)