I’m so excited to be a guest of the Weekend Rewind this week with the gorgeous Maxabella Loves, Life, Love and Hiccups, Sonia Styling and Kelly Exeter and I’ve been busting to share my fig salad recipe and adventures in writing love letters. It seems racy to whip out the paper and pen these days, doesn’t it. But, I simply had to when I realised I’ve never written a love ditty before. Never written a love letter. Seriously, I can’t go through life like that.
What do you say in a love note? Dr Google says, a quote is a good place to start.
I’m not sure if Tolstoy is particularly helpful, I mean, Anna K. throws herself under a train – not a great role model for the budding romantic. And even I can see the following quote is probably not the best option to put next to Happy Valentine’s Day!
“Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.” Anna Karenina. Bahahaha… I love you, too!
Jane Austy pants is my fave:
“You have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love… I love… I love you.” Pride and Prejudice
The problem is I also love this one:
“The most happy marriage I can picture or imagine to myself would be the union of a deaf man to a blind woman.” Samuel Taylor Coleridge. That’s my kind of hilarious. Yup, I have a long way to go on this romance journey.
In the end, I have decided to follow the advice of the fabulous Champagne Cartel dames’ for writing love poems, ‘Be specific, mention memories you’ve made together, and rhyme them with words that really don’t fit.’ (You’ll have to follow the link for the rest). It makes it sound so doable and hopefully hilarious.
And then one day I’m going to bind all my AMAZING love notes and poems in a book like the talented artist, Sue Bleiweiss did.In my past adventures in romance I’ve made watermelon love hearts, raspberry popsicles and bath and massage oils. Are you a letter writer? Will you write a love letter to someone this year? Any words of advice?
It’s my turn to cook the dinner this Valentine’s Day. In the past we’ve had oysters, pate, barbecued prawns and always a salad. Figs are a great place to start, whether by themselves, wrapped in prosciutto or drizzled with honey and ice cream and they’re so good in Australia and New Zealand at this time of year. For you guys in the Northern Hemisphere, you might want to save this recipe for a summer soiree for two between June and August when the figs are in season.
If you ever see a bunch of dark purple, nearly black, bursting-at-the-seams figs, promise me you’ll snatch them and run, and share them with your lover or snaffle them yourself. They’re hard to find. I imagine the growers of such beauties sit under the tree and eat them as soon as they ripen. I would.
Fig Salad Recipe
This fig salad isn’t an economical salad, unless you grow your own figs, but we love it as a special treat when we find a road side fig stall. It’s easy and saves us the cost of eating out at a fancy restaurant. I’ve also added some less expensive ingredient options, like homemade labne instead of goat cheese, which are just as delicious.
Gordon prefers this salad with a balsamic vinegar dressing, because it does a caramelly thing, but I love the lighter, crisper lemon juice or apple cider vinegar options, so feel free to change it up.
- 3 free range chicken thighs
- 1 lemon
- Couple of sprigs of thyme
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 6 figs
- A good, ahem, knob of goat cheese or labne
- 5 slices of free range prosciutto or parma ham
- ½ a bunch of basil
- A wad of your favourite leaf: rocket, baby spinach or baby kale
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- To flavour the chicken: cut the chicken thighs into bite sized chunks and toss into a container with the zest of half a lemon, a couple of thyme sprigs, a tablespoon of honey and splash of extra virgin olive oil. Let it sit for ten minutes or longer while you’re building the salad.
- To make the dressing: pour 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, a tablespoon of honey, salt and pepper in a jar and shake well. Taste to check the flavour.
- To build the salad: tear the leaves and pop onto a platter or in a bowl, lay prosciutto, cheese, torn basil and cut figs on top.
- To saute chicken: heat the barbecue or frypan to medium-high heat and cook chicken pieces until lightly browned. Put the cooked chicken pieces into a big jar or container with the lid on for a few minutes (this makes the chicken really juicy-lucy). Scatter the chicken on the salad, dress the salad and Bob is my uncle – you’re done.