Posts Tagged ‘Side Dish’

Product Description:

Black Mission figs bathed in a sweet syrup of red wine, cane sugar, balsamic vinegar, rosemary and sea salt; try paring with grilled steak and rosemary roasted potatoes. Also delicious with fresh goat cheeses, bleu d’auvergne, panna cotta, or old fashioned vanilla ice cream. Serve alongside a blue cheese tarte and fresh salad greens.

Click on this link to learn more about these Pickled Figs and other products from Boat Street Pickles.

What I Think:

Oh … my … goodness!  This is GOOD!

Despite my disappointment with the changes that have been made with Foodzie (a new format and a new way they handle their foodzie tasting boxes, not to mention a new, higher price), I must admit that they sure can pick ’em when it comes to selecting some amazing items for the tasting boxes.

This might just be one of my favorite items that I’ve tried from a tasting box yet.

I love figs.  When I was young, for a short time, I remember staying at a farm somewhere in California.  On that farm, there was a fig orchard.  One of my fondest childhood memories was eating a fresh, sun-ripened fig right there in the orchard – it was still warm from the sun!  And, that is still the best way to eat them, in my opinion, and when I purchase fresh figs from the supermarket, I just can’t seem to find any that duplicate that memory.  (I have, however, managed to find a tea that duplicates the memory for me, so this is not an unattainable goal!)

And while these Pickled Figs form Boat Street Pickles do not quite match that memory for me due to the balsamic vinegar and other flavorings added to make these “pickles,” they are still incredibly yummy.  The figs taste as though they were picked and processed at the peak of freshness.  They taste plump and juicy, and just a wee bit fermented.  I love that I can feel the seedy texture of the fig, it does remind me of the texture of those tree-ripened figs from my childhood.

The balsamic vinegar adds a tangy flavor to the pickle while at the same time, it highlights some of the sweetness of the fig.  It’s a very nice contrast of flavor.  I can taste the slightly resinous note from the rosemary.  All of these distinctive flavors come together to create a sweet and tangy relish that is absolutely memorable.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to serve these … but this evening, I made a very simple baked chicken breast dinner for the family, and I decided that this would be the time that I opened the jar and gave it a try.  I scooped out a generous dollop of the Pickled Figs and served it with my chicken, and it managed to elevate what might otherwise be a slightly boring chicken breast to something quite extraordinary!  I don’t know how I’ll be able to eat baked chicken breast without this on the side now!

Tea recommendation:  actually, I didn’t serve any specific tea with this relish, since I enjoyed it with my supper.  I had a glass of Green Pomegranate iced tea (Which I brewed using this tea from Persimmon Tree Tea) – and while I can’t say that the two perfectly complimented each other since I was so busy marveling over how well it complimented the chicken – the tea worked well with dinner overall.

This would also make a nice substitution for cranberry sauce at the holiday meal.  Yes, yes, I know, that day has come and gone, but, the winter holiday – whichever you might observe – is still on its way, and this would be just perfect alongside that rib roast (if you’re serving one), or if you’re baking another turkey – get some of this.  It would even be spectacular with ham.

That is … if you don’t eat it right out of the jar before the guests arrive!

My Final Thoughts:

I LOVE this stuff.  Now, I just need to locate it.  The website does not indicate any shops in Vancouver that offer any of Boat Street Pickles products, but there are a couple of places in Portland.  Maybe I could persuade Chuck’s Produce here in Vancouver to start carrying it.  It is certainly worth the effort.

In May’s Tasting Box, I received a sample of this as well as the Black Truffle & Fresh Thyme Sea Salt.  I had originally planned to have this review encompass both salt blends, but, since I didn’t use them together, I will write about them separately.  Here, I will talk about the Fresh Rosemary & Sage Herb Sea Salt…

Where to Buy:  Woody’s Gourmet on Foodzie

Product Description:

Intense fresh rosemary and sage aromas collaborate with the flavors of garlic and hints of black pepper to create a truly versatile accompaniment to many of your favorite dishes. Our proprietary method of Wet Infusion™ blends essential oils from fresh herbs with sea salt. This blend is bursting with complexity that will surprise you.

And yes, we are talking about sea salt in a whole new light. Use it as a meat rub or on poultry, pastas, potatoes, soups, even on salads, this versatile blend goes well on most dishes. Anytime you would use salt, use Woody’s Gourmet. Try it and see if you agree.

What I Think:

I decided to use this on some roast potatoes.  To prepare, I cut the potatoes in small, bite-sized chunks, drizzled with olive oil, and tossed with pepper, freshly minced garlic, and about a teaspoon of this salt blend.  I baked the potatoes at 400° F until golden brown and cooked through.

YUM!  I used to use Kosher salt all the time, but, I have since discovered that I prefer the flavor imparted by sea salt.  The sea salt really brought out the savory flavor of the rosemary and sage, and helped conquer the bitter note that would normally be tasted with these herbs.  The rosemary has a lovely pine-like taste to it which I really liked, and the sage gave a delicious, earthy flavor to the potatoes.

I also had great success with this sprinkled on some Pollack fillets before baking.  A rather simple preparation, but with results that exceeded my expectations.  My entire family devoured their dinner!

The best thing about this blend is that it does all the work for me.  I love using fresh herbs, but I am not crazy about preparing the fresh herbs when I cook; because of this, I don’t use a lot of fresh herbs.  It may seem a bit trivial, but, I have never been one who enjoys preparation, I am usually a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of cook.  This blend lets me do my thing the way I want without having to prepare for it!   And, I didn’t get any of the tough leaves or withy branches with the rosemary – something that I usually have a difficult time avoiding when I chop my own fresh rosemary.  Awesome!

My Final Thoughts:

While I was excited to try this blend, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to use it on.  I thought I needed to use it on something super fancy to do it justice.  But as it turns out, it takes something as humble as potatoes and turns it into something fancy … and delicious!