The California Fig Fest drew hundreds of people to the Fresno State campus on Aug. 15. As part of the event, organizers held a cooking competition involving some of the region’s best chefs. Here are the winners:
▪ The VIP judges picks: First place, The Vineyard; second place, Rosetti’s Fine Foods and third place, Guri’s Grub House and Taps
▪ The People’s Choice picks: First place, The Painted Table; second place, Guri’s; and third place, Elbow Room Bar & Grill
Here are a some of the recipes.
Crispy polenta cake with tomato fennel jam and figs
By The Painted Table
Polenta cake (see separate recipe)
Tomato fennel jam (see separate recipe)
4-5 slices, crispy prosciutto
4-5, calimyrna figs
1 cup, white cheddar cheese
1 cup, micro arugula
Extra virgin olive oil
Fig balsamic reduction (see separate recipe)
Place 2-inch square of polenta on buttered sheet pan and top with 1 tablespoon of tomato fennel jam. Break off a 2-inch piece of crisp prosciutto and place on tomato fennel jam.
Place a slice or two of calimyrna fig on the prosciutto and top with 2-3 teaspoons of grated white cheddar cheese. Place in 400-degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
To finish, drizzle with the fig balsamic reduction, extra virgin olive oil and top with micro arugula. Serve warm.
Tomato Fennel Jam
21/2 pounds, Roma tomatoes
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 fennel bulbs
Zest of half of a lemon
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Cut fennel bulbs in half, drizzle with olive oil and roast in 400-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until softened.
Meanwhile, puree the tomato and onion in a food processor and place in medium saucepan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat. Stirring frequently, cook until onions are translucent and most liquid is evaporated. When fennel is roasted, puree in food processor and add to the tomato/onion.
Add the lemon zest, red pepper flakes, coriander, honey and vinegar.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Continue cooking on medium-low heat for 10 more minutes.