Thursday, August 12, 2010

Figs with Vanilla & Balsamic Pickled Onions



Can vanilla be a pickling spice? Today I found out. Yes! Heck yes it can! Mixed with balsamic vinegar as a picking agent, it was delightful! I have mentioned before, that I buy ground vanilla beans. I have noticed in the past months they vanished from my local store shelves. But, it is back now (more expensive unfortunately). If you like vanilla and use it in any capacity, I highly recommend keeping a bag on hand. I can't imagine how I got along with just vanilla extract. And, this dish is a perfect example of how well it can work as a spice in savory foods.
And, like so many of the recipes I create, it is quite easy.
Don' forget the mint though..it really added a wonderful dimension and brightness.

Figs with Vanilla & Balsamic Pickled Onions

1 small red onion (to equal a bit over 1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp. heaping crushed vanilla beans
1 tsp mustard seeds
6 juniper berries
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup water
4 large figs
2 sprigs fresh mint

Thinly slice red onion and place in a mason jar.  Add the balsamic, vinegar, mustard seeds, juniper berries, water and cover with lid. Let stand for no less than 2 hours. Shake gently or swirl every once in a while to blend the spices. The longer the better! Will keep in fridge for a week covered.

Slice figs into 1/2 inch slices and spread on plate (1 fig per serving) top each fig with a forkful of pickled onions and top with 4 or 5 small mint leaves.

1 comment:

Becky said...

I read your recipes and they sound so delicious. They look so beautiful, too! And it makes me realize that I eat like a child. So I laugh at myself and my unrefined palate. Maybe someday I'll grow up and eat a fig. Maybe.

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