Reading about Trebizond and Samarkand and the places we’ll go, got me thinking about the cooking from this part of the world. I found a recipe for dried figs that I made for our dessert. It is a perfect way to use the light brown dried figs that are sometimes sold strung on a length of straw and are so hard you can chip a tooth.
The recipe is from The Ottoman Kitchen by Sarah Woodward.
12 dried figs
1 cup brewed tea [I used my favorite Royal Blend from Fortnum & Mason]
3 tablespoons honey [I used orange blossom honey]
Juice of ½ lemon
5 bay leaves [I used dried ones that I’d picked from my mother’s laurel tree]
Pour the hot tea over the figs and soak over night. Remove the figs. Measure out 1 cup of the soaking liquid [add water to the tea make a full cup] into a saucepan; add the bay leaves, honey, and lemon juice. Boil on high heat for 3 minutes. Add the figs, stem side up, and simmer for 20 minutes. Cool. After the figs are cool, cut a slit in the skin and stuff with a walnut half. Serve on a plate with a little of the syrup.