Roast figs sugar snow – book review

Originally published in 2005, roast figs and sugar snow is a beautiful collection of winter recipes by Diana Henry. The book is a collection of recipes perfect for the colder months with recipes from Diana’s travels to the chillier parts of the world. There are dishes from Russia, Scandinavia, Northern Italy, France, New England, Quebec, Britain and Ireland.

Each chapter has a beautifully written introduction which can not fail to inspire you to try the recipes or at least get in the kitchen and cook with the featured ingredient. Each chapter is based around a specific ingredient or group of ingredients. For example ‘Gathering in’ is recipes using chestnuts, hazel nuts, walnuts and pecans. There are also chapters on cheese, winter vegetables, game and wild mushrooms, pork, smoked food, groups of winter fruits (apples, pears, damsons, figs etc) and maple syrup (sugar snow).

So far I have cooked Tartiflette and smoked haddock and leek risotto from the book (both recipes were easy to follow and the end dish delicious). There are many more recipes I want to try this winter including Italian Christmas chocolate cake (a pudding using the flavours of panforte), roast squash salad with lentils and goat’s cheese, roast beetroot salad with orange and goat’s cheese, tagliatelle with roast pumpkin, sage, ricotta and smoked cheese, Swedish hash and snow biscuits.The book is full of stunning inspiring photos of the ingredients, the dishes and autumn/winter scenes. This is a cookbook to read snuggled up on a snowy day, to inspire you to get in the kitchen and cook with all the beautiful ingredients winter has to offer.

Tartiflette

Serves 6

1.3kg waxy potatoes (no need to peel)
Salt and pepper
75g unsalted butter
2tbsp olive oil
250g chunky bacon lardons
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 reblochon (about 350g)
75g creme fraiche

  • Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until just tender. Drain. When they are cool enough to handle, slice the potatoes. Heat half the butter and oil together in a saute pan and cook the potatoes until they are golden. Season with salt and pepper and put them into a shallow ovenproof dish.
  • preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5. Heat the rest of the butter and oil in the same saute pan and cook the lardons over a fairly high heat to colour them well. Turn the heat down, add the onion and cook it until soft and just beginning to colour. Throw in the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Add this to the ovenproof dish and gently combine with the potatoes.
  • Cut the reblochon into slices and trim the rind. Dot spoonfuls of creme fraiche all over the potatoes and cover with the slices of Reblochon. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. The cheese should be melted and bubbling. Serve immediately.

Thank you to Octopus books for my review copy and allowing me to share this recipe with you.

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6 thoughts on “Roast figs sugar snow – book review

  1. I keep staring at this book on Amazon! Hopefully Santa might bring me a copy. Tartiflette sounds delicious, I’ve never had it so one to bookmark definitely and try on one of these cold winter evenings.

  2. I have paged through this book from time to time and it’s on my “someday” list for cookbooks. (I have too many, and there are “sadly” always tempting new ones coming out!) I love how it highllights food from northern countries. I love mediterranean food but as I live in a northern clime myself and try to eat seasonally, it’s good to have some ideas. This recipe looks so tasty and comforting. I heard the author interviewed on the Splendid Table when it came out which was fun.

  3. I love this book to read when winter approaches but still haven’t gotten around to actually cooking from it! Not sure why as so many delicious sounding recipes in it!

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