The Wine Country Online

Musings from Sonoma County's Slow Food Conviviati

Fall 2000


Grilled Figs for Fall Salads

The chef at Iron Horse Vineyards, Mark Malicki, has been wrapping small ripe and split black figs in paper-thin slices of pancetta. Then he grills them over wood or charcoal.

He serves them as crispy and savory sweet jewels to sparkle in salads with grilled duck breast and roasted vegetables.

A nice trick is to carefully reduce a bit of balsamic vinegar until it is getting to the point of being a thick syrup, until it falls away from the spoon in tangy sweet ribbons that tie together all these great flavors of fall.



A Menu for Fall

By Jack Burton

    My dad was a fisherman. That's what he did for recreation. For recreation and to put fresh fish on the table. Fishing, for my father, was both form and function. It was way cool 1950's style to spend a day in a rowboat, serenely casting a variety of baits and lures into a clear lake. He was fond of working the lily pads with surface plugs and matching wits with the largemouth bass of southeastern Michigan.

    He was the picture of post-WWII style. With ball cap, sandwiches, Thermos of coffee and ever-present pack of smokes. He included function in the form of thick bass fillets that my mother would dust with seasoned flour. She would fry them simply in the fat reserved from the morning's bacon. There would be coleslaw or potato salad and cornbread sometimes with baked beans. The fish was delicious with catsup or tartar sauce. I remember the fillets, so fresh off the bone they would curl a little when they hit the hot fat. One last dash for the cover of the lilies embedded in our supper.

The Menu:

Cabbage Salad


Pan-fried fish fillets w/tartar sauce

Baked beans with ham bone

Apple pie à la mode