Because LA is essentially a desert, almost everything in our garden is drought tolerant, and I'm stingy with the water too. Which was a good thing this year, since we're experiencing the worst drought since California has been recording such things. Thank you, carbon emissions.
But the one thing we DO water are our vegetables and fruit trees, though we're stingy there too. So this year, since there wasn't the winter rain to really soak the ground, our harvest wasn't quite what it has been in the past. With one notable exception.
Ah yes. The magical fig tree. This thing will outlive us all, AND bear endless fruit. Which is more than I can say for Gladys, who turned out to be a total egg-laying dud.
Coco, on the right, lays eggs like a champ. And though I threaten Gladys with the soup pot if she doesn't start putting out, she doesn't believe me.
But anyway, the rest of the garden was a little bit 'meh' this year. We had a decent haul of tomatoes.
Emmy Lou would like a BLT, hold the LT. And we had a volunteer pumpkin vine that's still in a generous mood.
But the grape harvest? Not so much.
Though last year's was so good I still promise a "Win the Wine" bloggy contest soon. And our artichokes? So tough we let most of 'em go to flower.
Yes, they ARE a member of the thistle family. Reunions are kinda prickly.
But ANYWAY, since the only thing we really had an abundance of were figs, once I'd canned enough jam for Xmas, dehydrated quarts and quarts, and was Fig Fairy to all the neighbors, I STILL had a mess of 'em and had to figure out SOMETHING else to do with them other than my tried-and-true appetizer with goat cheese.
So here, in just a few easy steps, with almost NO cooking at all, I bring you this summer's hit dessert: THE DARK CHOCOLATE FIG TART.
First, cut up a bunch of figs.
Though to be honest, you could use strawberries (with strawberry jam) or any pit fruit (with apricot jam) and the thing would still ROCK.
In a double boiler or microwave, melt some dark chocolate chips. For a 9" diameter crust, I used 1/2 a bag of Ghiradelli. Because I don't buy cheap chocolate.
Take your jar of jam and set it in the boiling water too - or microwave - to make it a little more viscous.
God, I love that word! Viscous.
Now, here's where my laziness knows no bounds. I used one of those rolled up, raw pie crusts & baked it flat with the edges crimped. You could also use phyllo, and bake that flat too. Or if you're an overachiever, make your own damn pastry.
Spread the chocolate all over, then arrange figs on top, dollop the whole thing with jam and refrigerate until you're ready to serve it.
See? INSANELY easy. Oh - and don't forget YOUR reward for slaving in the kitchen.
Licking the spatula. Mmmmmm.