Delight your guests this holiday season with easy-to-make
party platters assembled with locally sourced products. Add that
homemade touch by including a few of these simple recipes.
Quick Fig and Rosemary Jam
MAKES ABOUT 1½ CUPS
8 ounces dried Mission figs, stems
removed, coarsely chopped
¾ cup sugar
M cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 (2-inch) sprig fresh rosemary
Combine all the ingredients in a medium
saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce the
heat to medium-low. Simmer until the
figs begin to break down and the mixture thickens, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring
frequently. Discard the rosemary sprig.
Transfer to a food processor and pulse to
your desired consistency. Cool, transfer
to a jar and store in the refrigerator for up
to 1 week.
WRITTEN AND STYLED BY LYNDA BALSLEV • PHOTOGRAPHS BY TED THOMAS
Co.: Bay Blue
1 Select four to six types of cheese and vary the
colors, textures, flavors and shapes. Consider a
fresh goat cheese, a bloomy pungent or washed rind
cheese, a wedge of alpine cow or “piquant,” a butter-scotch-y cheese, a nutty pecorino, and streaky blues.
2 Use the farmers’ market for decorative inspiration. Arrange the cheeses on large leafy greens, such
as chard and collard greens, and decorate with curly
leaves such as purple kale and frisée. Weave smaller
decorative sprigs such as kale flowers, rosemary and
flowering thyme around the cheese as aromatic garnishes. Hollow out a small red cabbage or a radicchio
head to use as a serving vessel for nuts and olives.
3 Sweeten up the board with colorful nibbles
such as fresh grapes, pomegranate arils (seed
pods) and persimmon wedges, or use dried
cranberries, figs and apricots. Serve with a jar
of chutney or jam. Add a wedge of honeycomb
or a little glass of honey for drizzling.
4 Select a variety of crackers, crisps and breads
for texture, color and consistency: hearty fruit and
nut bread, rustic baguette slices, olive oil crackers,
seeded crisp breads — and don’t forget to add some
5 Serve each cheese with its own knife.