“Matt Wilkinson, chef and cookery author, has a passion for growing, sourcing and presenting the best tasting produce he can. Here he pairs freshly plucked figs from the trees at Merri Creek's community veggie patch with blue cheese, walnuts and corn bread.” Rachel Khoo, Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook Melbourne
- 5 ripe figs, tops and bases trimmed, cut in half horizontally
- good pinch of salt flakes
- a few grinds of white pepper
- 1½ tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ tbsp good quality chardonnay vinegar
- 50 g blue cheese (gorgonzola works well)
- 10 walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 8 basil leaves, torn
- 1 tbsp lightly toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 2 slices cornbread, chargrilled on both sides
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Take 2 sheets of baking paper, each about 30 cm (12 inches) long. On one sheet place the figs, cut-side down, then cover with the other piece of paper. Gently smash the figs using your fingers until they’re flat. Remove the top layer of paper, leaving the figs on the bottom sheet.
Turn the bottom sheet of paper upside down onto a large plate, then gently remove the paper. Lightly season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the vinegar and olive oil. Crumble the cheese over the figs, then scatter with the walnuts, basil and pepitas. Cut the warm toasted cornbread into soldiers and serve on the side.
Photography by Prue Ruscoe. Styling by Lucy Tweed. Food preparation by Leanne Kitchen. Creative concept by Lou Fay.
Concrete wallpaper from eurowalls. Aqua Lagoon plate from Freedom Australia.