• Updated Website Address: LocalBanquet.org
  • Looking Back on a Decade of Maple Innovation
  • Listening to Farmers’ Voices in the Ecosystem Services Discussion
  • Updated Website Address: LocalBanquet.org

    We've changed our website. Please update your bookmarks to LocalBanquet.org LocalBanquet.org is where you will now find the latest Local Banquet stories, a new Story of the Day update feature, features from the archives, and information on how to contribute to Local Banquet if you're interested in writing about Vermont agriculture. 

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  • Looking Back on a Decade of Maple Innovation

    Back in 2007, Local Baquet ran an article by Bonnie Hudspeth on maple innovation and production in Vermont. Since then, maple production in Vermont has tripled to 1.8 million gallons a year and innovation seems to have entered a new golden (or perhaps amber) age. We did a quick maple innovation news round up for 2018 / 2019 to help everyone keep up with the some of the trends. 

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  • Listening to Farmers’ Voices in the Ecosystem Services Discussion

    In 2015, the USDA funded a project for UVM researchers to engage in discussions with Vermont farmers about the idea of being paid for ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are things farmers do that improve the environment for everyone, a common example is grass-based farms capturing carbon in the soil as a way to combat climate change. Some services happen naturally through sustainable farming, others take more of an incentive to implement, and either way some policy makers believe that farmers shoudl be compensated for their contribution. 

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Sika me Manouri: Figs with Manouri Cheese

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Sika me Manouri: Figs with Manouri Cheese

Thanks to chef Marc Provencher of Taverna Khione, a Greek restaurant in Shelburne, for providing this fig recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2-oz. slice of manouri cheese (made from the whey of feta; the best substitution would be halloumi, but if that is not available, you can use warmed feta in the oven, room temperature burrata, or fresh mozzarella)
  • 2 to 4 fresh figs sliced in half
  • Gai’a Assyrtiko vinegar (this is a Greek balsamic vinegar made from Assyrtiko grapes—not easy to find but you can substitute 12-year-old traditional balsamic vinegar)
  • salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat grill. Season cheese with salt and pepper. Grill cheese for two minutes on each side. Careful not to let it get too hot and melt away. Place figs around the cheese and drizzle with vinegar. Serve warm.


Other ideas: A sprinkle of mint works well as a garnish and to add another flavor component. Arugula brings a nice peppery note to it, as well. A grilled piece of bread underneath the cheese and figs makes for a nice open-faced sandwich/bruschetta. Grilling the figs is also an option. If the figs are too ripe or the grill is not hot enough, the figs could stick and ruin the fruit. Be sure to oil the figs and make sure the grill is hot! A quick minute on each side will add a nice char and some smoky notes to the fruit.

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Our stories, interviews, and essays reveal how Vermont residents are building their local food systems, how farmers are faring in a time of great opportunity and challenge, and how Vermont’s agricultural landscape ties into larger questions of sustainability and the future of our food supply.