vendredi vocab: peperonata


Vendredi means “Friday” in French. Each week we add something new to our culinary vocabulary by delving into a word from our menu.

This week the word is: peperonata

Common in Italian cooking, this food item consists of sweet peppers sauteed in olive oil. The Italian Sweet Pepper is a common pepper to use for making this food dish, but any variety of sweet pepper can be served. Typically, the Peperonata may include ingredients such as sweet peppers, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and herbs (basil), capers, and olives. After being prepared, the Peperonata may be served hot or cold. As a hot food, it is often served like a condiment for use as a meat, pizza or pasta topping. When served cold, it can be used as a stuffing for omelets or simply served as an antipasto. [source]

Peperonata adds a wonderful sweet flavor to your favorite dishes and pairs beautifully with meat, pasta or polenta. This fall at the girl & the fig, we featured peperonata in our amazing polenta cake with peperonata, broccolini, fried garlic & chili oil.

How would you use peperonata?

Vendredi means “Friday” in French. Each week we add something new to our culinary vocabulary by delving into a word from our menu. We love food, we love words, and we love to learn something new. We also love Fridays.

Happy Vendredi, everyone!

vendredi vocab: white anchovy


Vendredi posts are back! If you don’t recall, Vendredi means “Friday” in French. Each week we add something new to our culinary vocabulary by delving into a word from our menu.

This week the word is: White Anchovy

The typically Spanish and ever popular Boquerones are known in English as ‘white anchovies’ due to the color of the meat in the fillets.  They are preserved and flavoured in either olive oil or vinagre or both, often with a hint of garlic.  Regular anchovies are more red in color and are preserved in salt, giving a different texture and flavour – typical of the type used to flavour sauces or on pizzas.[source the tapas lunch company]

At the girl & the fig you can enjoy white anchovy in our PLATS DU JOUR entree this week; white anchovies add a nice bit of salty flavor to your favorite dressings and marinades. This summer, we featured white anchovy in our amazing little tartines with caramelized onion, blue cheese, grilled figs, tomato & white anchovy, olive tapenade.

How would you use white anchovy?

Vendredi means “Friday” in French. Each week we add something new to our culinary vocabulary by delving into a word from our menu. We love food, we love words, and we love to learn something new. We also love Fridays.

Happy Vendredi, everyone!

Photo credits for this post: pixabay


fig bits “best ever”

Today marks our little blog’s 2 year anniversary – and we’ve loved sharing news and inspiration with you, hearing from our readers what they’ve enjoyed: that our recipes have made it to your own tables, or that you’ve had successes in your gardens based on our trials (and errors!) at the “farm project.”

So today – the best of the blog:  a round-up of our 20(ish) most popular ever recipes and posts.  Thank you to everyone who’s followed along!!

Best of FOOD & DRINK

The term was first used in medieval times and applied to fruits cooked and preserved in sugar.

Vendredi Vocab: Confit

It’s interesting that, while the small buds on broccoli rabe, also commonly called “rapini,” resemble broccoli, the vegetable is actually more closely related to the turnip.

Vendredi vocab: Broccoli Rabe

At the girl & the fig we love farro for it’s nutty flavor, delicate chew, and versatility.

Vendredi Vocab: Farro

A good Negroni should be available at any respectable bar, as the classic cocktail contains standard items (namely, gin, vermouth, and Campari).

Negroni Cocktails for Summer

The history of this elixir stretches back over hundreds of years through turbulent history and troubled times.

Chartreuse, Carthusian Monks, and “the fig”

Sparkling wine, like many of the great things in life, was invented by mistake.

Don’t fight the fizz –  A History of Sparkling Wine

Best of the FARM PROJECT

The greens of most root vegetables are edible, in particular, beets, turnips, radishes, carrots (yes, carrots!) 042-560x374
from the farm: stalks fronds and flowers

There is so much to love about winter vegetables.  If spring decides to sleep just a few weeks longer, I suppose I can live with it.022-1024x684
from the fam: rise & shine

I always feel fortunate to live in a county where winter produce can be every bit as gorgeous, fresh, and flavorful (if slightly less plentiful) in winter as in summer.040-560x374
from the farm: winter prep in the garden

The purple shades indicate a sweeter flavor than in warmer months.

from the farm: the color purple


What to do on a beautiful Sunday in Sonoma?

Sunday drive

Here are a few local spots that you perhaps haven’t heard of if you’re passing through for a weekend.o
eat like a local in Sonoma

We always love to visit the wineries from on our wine list…today: ANABA!

Anaba Vineyards & Winery

The one-hundred acre farmstead and vineyard, family owned for generations, released its first cheese in the spring of 2012.

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Meet the Maker: Pennyroyal Farm


One of the most requested recipes from the girl & the fig’s menu!

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Quiche Lorraine

When summer squash transitions to winter squash, soup always comes to mind…

Butternut Squash Soup, Balsamic Reduction, and Fried Sage Recipe

Since we have put this dessert on the menu, two things have happened – 1) we can’t take it off the menu and 2) profiteroles are no longer the number one dessert. I guess this will be true until we come up with something that trumps the trifle!

from the kitchen: Chocolate & Salted Fig Caramel Trifle Recipe

Make sure to try Sondra’s all time favorite entree…

Pan-Seared Calves Liver 

In the mood for a Fall soup? Definitely try this one…

from the kitchen: cauliflower and gruyere soup


Now that a venue has been chosen and a date has been set, the real planning begins!

Planning a Wine Country Wedding: Setting a Timeline

For the hostess in your life….  

People magazine and us!


When it all started, our founder, Sondra, was a girl on a budget. As a way to cut costs, she decided to utilize all the thrift shops we have in Sonoma to furnish the restaurant.

the girl & the flight glasses

The fig cafe gets a make-over!  Thank you to our faithful friends who’ve been ever-so patient with us, our crackerjack staff, and the wonderfully talented design team, Alan & Ryan Barr of grey matters, who’ve helped bring a fun, fresh face to our beloved cafe!

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the fig cafe then and now!

Meet Anne-Charlotte! She is one of the most enthusiastic women I have ever met in the wine business. She is genuine, and warm, and has learned her business from the ground up.

chateau de la font du loup

Thanks for reading along with us!!

As always, if there’s a tip, recipe, food or wine that you’re curious about – leave us a note.  We’d love to hear from you!

Vendredi Vocab: Affogato

Meet my (newly discovered) favorite dessert – the affogato!

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 4.03.53 PMSource

affogato [ahf-foh-GAH-toh] A scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream topped with a shot of hot espresso. Though vanilla is traditional, chocolate gelato is sometimes used, in which case the dessert becomes affogato mocha. The word affogato comes from the Italian affogare (“drown”).

The New Food Lover’s Companion, page 7

I had a lovely table the other afternoon at the girl & the fig (where I waitress when I’m not blogging) – two gentlemen who enjoyed a long lunch with spaced out light bites, a few drinks, and plenty of laughs. A business meeting, they told me, although it seemed to me that the were more friends who happened to do business together and wanted an excuse to get lunch. They were the kind of guests who asked me to pick their food, surprise them and ‘just bring us a few of your favorites’ – so much fun for us servers!

At the end of the meal I handed them dessert menus in the usual fashion and they asked if we had “affocado.” It was my turn to learn…I must have looked confused (secretly wondering if they just asked for “avocados” for dessert, so they quickly explained that they were interested in the Italian affogato, meaning espresso with vanilla bean ice cream. I instantly loved the idea without even having to try it. What a delectable mix of hot and cold, creamy and bitter, a touch of sweet and the perfect amount of perk-you-up after a long meal. If you’re like me, sometimes after a meal, you aren’t in the mood for a full-on dessert. Well, affogato is your new best friend. To top it off, at the girl & the fig we make our own ice creams in-house and our vanilla bean is to die for!

So after explaining to me what affogato meant and that they would like to have it with a side shot of Cointreau to mix in (and you thought it couldn’t get any better!), I brought the gentlemen their after-lunch treat.


Cointreau not pictured

And true to form, they mixed it all together and insisted I try it. It was, of course, heavenly. And I’m still day-dreaming about it.


Vendredi means “Friday” in French. Each week we add something new to our culinary vocabulary by delving into a word from our menu. We love food, we love words, and we love to learn something new. We also love Fridays.

Happy Vendredi, everyone!


Vendredi Vocab: Gravenstein Apples



Gravenstein apple All-purpose apple with green skin streaked with red and yellow. The fine-textured, highly-aromatic flesh is crisp, juicy and sweetly tart.

The New Food Lover’s Companion, page 342

Not only are Gravenstein apples delicious and in the height of their peak season, but they also have a historical tie to Sonoma County?

During the first half of the 20th century, Gravensteins were the major variety of apples grown in western Sonoma County and were the source for apple sauce and dried apples for the U.S. troops in World War II. Most of the orchards in Sonoma County are now gone due to a combination of suburban development, a shift to wine production, and economic changes in the apple industry. Only six commercial growers and one commercial processor remain in Sonoma County as of 2006. In 2005, Slow Food USA declared the Gravenstein apple a heritage food and included it in their Ark of taste. Slow Food USA reports that production in Sonoma County is currently 750,000 boxes (15,000 tons) of Gravensteins a year. (Source)

Every year, our neighbors in the town of Sebastopol celebrate this special fruit with the Gravenstein Apple Fair. Go check it out Saturday and Sunday, August 8-9th! Details here.

This week at the girl & the fig we are honoring the Gravenstein apple with our interpretation of a deconstructed apple pie. And, oh my, is it delicious.

Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you this week’s bistro plat dessert – Gravenstein apples with pound cake, vanilla bean ice cream, and our amazing salted fig caramel sauce.



Photo credit: Chef Jeremy Zimmerman