The chicks are also enjoying the figs and providing me with entertainment. I know animal creatures really ought not to be human entertainment but I do love to watch a game of Chick-Chasey. Every morning the chicks greet me in their coop with squawks and yelps as they literally climb all over each other in a fight for the door. Funny how they know exactly where the door is in the morning but struggle to find their way back in when it rains. Anyway, they fight for the door and make a chick line for the fig tree looking for any that have fallen overnight. Then one will pick a bit up in her beak and do a funny chicken run in an attempt to find a private place to consume it with all the other chicks in tow. Another will steal the fruit and the game continues.
The other day I attempted a special figgy treat for myself. My current all time favourite tapas-style recipe for visitors is peppered figs with haloumi cheese. The recipe comes from George Calombaris' Greek Cookery from the Hellenic Heart book. Well it was my birthday this week and I was alone for lunch but decided I would treat myself anyway. The recipe calls for baby dried figs. I figured it'd be just as good with big fresh figs - maybe a bit sloppier so I'd leave out the water. And it tasted pretty good. But it looked like green diarrhea. So I've spared you the photograph.
Below is the recipe as written by George. I urge you all to try it - truly is the most delish thing ever. He recommends serving it with grilled haloumi but I've only ever fried mine and it was my birthday. So I've included how to fry haloumi if you feel the need for a few extra kilojoules.
Peppered Figs with Haloumi
For the Figs:
• 100g dried baby figs
• 1 tbsp Attiki honey (still delish with your usual)
• 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
• 1 tbsp black pepper, cracked
• 1 cinnamon quill
• 1 small bay leaf
• 3 cloves
• water to cover
Place figs, honey, balsamic vinegar, black pepper, cinnamon quill, bay leaf and cloves in a saucepan. Add water and bring to the boil.
Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook gently until tender. Preserve in a sterilised jar.
For the Haloumi:
Cut haloumi into slices about 1cm thick. You can soak them in water if you don't like them to be so salty but I reckon the saltiness is the best bit. Heat some olive oil in a non stick frypan. Cook the haloumi on both sides until golden and crispy.
Serve the haloumi warm with the figs on top.