chef tips & kitchen staples: blended oil


We use blended oil for just about every recipe.  Even plain olive oil, which we use here, can be very strong and in many recipes will overpower the dish, so we dilute the flavor with canola oil.

This blend will be subtle and not overwhelm the other flavors in the dish.

Makes: as much as you want!

You’ll need:

  • 1 part olive oil, such as Critelli
  • 3 parts canola oil

Simply combine and keep on-hand in the kitchen.  Will store best in a dark glass bottle.

Great for use in vinaigrette recipes for greens with a delicate flavor and texture!

A Lavender Lover’s Guide to Sonoma County  – Sonoma Magazine

Lavender Sea Salt

lavender crème brûlée

Goat Cheese & Lavender-Honey Toasts
Makes about 50 nibbles

½ cup honey
1 tablespoon culinary lavender (save a pinch for garnish)
1 cup fresh goat cheese
¼ cup heavy cream

Place the honey and lavender in a medium saucepot over medium heat. Let the lavender steep in the honey until you have reached the desired intensity. Strain the lavender and set aside.

Place the goat cheese and cream in a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Add the lavender honey to taste (about 5 tablespoons). Whisk until the mixture is light.

Place the goat cheese mixture on a toasted baguette or cracker of your choice. Drizzle with the honey and garnish with the reserved lavender.

Lavender Mojito

Local lavender lover Sofia Englund lists the best ways to enjoy the fragrance and the flower in Sonoma County.

Source: A Lavender Lover’s Guide to Sonoma County  – Sonoma Magazine

from the kitchen: recipes for your 4th of July Table

The 4th of July is a great time to be with your family and friends, celebrating with people you love and food & drink that bring you joy.

Do you already know what you’ll be making this Fourth? No need to worry – we’ve got your back. Here are some great recipes for your 4th of July party!

FIG KISS For your glass: the Fig Kiss

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For your table: Heirloom Tomatoes, Burrata & Basil


From the garden: Braised Artichokes


For the grill: Grilled Flat Iron Steak, Eggplant Purée, Anchovy Butter

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For your sweet tooth: Apple Fig Sorbet


For the grand finale: Strawberry & Kumquat Crisp

Happy Fourth of July!!



Watermelon Mojito


Watermelon Mojito
MAKES 2 cocktails

  • 16 to 20 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup cubed watermelon, seeded and skinned
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 4 ounces light rum
  • 2 ounces Simple Syrup
  • Club Soda

Divide the mint leaves between two pint glasses. muddle the mint and add the watermelon. Continue to muddle until the watermelon is completely broken up.

Fill the glasses with ice and add the lime juice, rum, and simple syrup. shake well with a cocktail shaker and top each drink with a splash of club soda.

(Originally published in PLATS DU JOUR, the girl & the fig’s Journey Through the Seasons in Wine Country by Sondra Bernstein)


Grilled Flat Iron Steak, Eggplant Purée, Anchovy Butter


We have many options available when selecting cuts of meat from our meat purveyors, but we keep coming back to the Flat Iron steak. The Flat Iron comes from the shoulder and has a good amount of marbling, which gives it a great flavor. Not only is the price right, it’s also a great tasting piece of beef. If you plan on cooking this piece of meat any further than medium, you may want to switch to a Ribeye.

Grilled Flat Iron Steak, Eggplant Purée, Anchovy Butter

Serves 6

For the steaks:

2 shallots, sliced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
6 Flat Iron steaks (6 ounces each and 1-inch thick)

For the anchovy butter:

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 anchovy filets
1 tablespoon diced shallots

For the eggplant:

2 large eggplants, halved lengthwise
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

To finish:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup cress (water, pepper or ancho, or a mixture)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

To prepare the steaks:

In a large baking dish combine the shallots, olive oil, thyme, rosemary, and parsley. Add the steaks, cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours or up to overnight.

To prepare the anchovy butter:

In a food processor, purée the butter with the anchovy and shallots. Place the butter in a small dish and refrigerate. (The anchovy butter can be made up to 1 week ahead.)

To prepare the eggplant:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Using a knife, slice ½-inch deep crosses into the flesh side of the eggplant. Drizzle ¼ cup of the olive oil over them and season generously with salt and pepper. Place the eggplant flesh side down on a baking sheet and bake until the flesh has fully cooked, about 35 to 45 minutes. When the eggplant is cool, scoop out the flesh into the bowl of a food processor and discard the skin. Purée the eggplant with the remaining ¼ cup olive oil and add water to thin the consistency to a thick purée. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

To finish: Preheat the grill to high. Remove the steaks from the marinade and scrap off any excess. Season the steaks with salt and pepper and grill them to the desired temperature (for rare, about 5 to 7 minutes; for medium rare, about 7 to 10 minutes).

In a saucepan heat the eggplant purée with 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat until the butter is incorporated and the purée is hot. Spoon a large spoonful of the purée on each of six plates and spread it with a spoon. Place one steak over the eggplant purée and crumble the anchovy butter over each steak. Toss the cress with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste, and divide it among the steaks.

(from the girl & the fig cookbook)