I stumbled across Jerusalem: A Cookbook in Anthropologie in March. I previously read an article in the New Yorker about the chef and writer Yotam Ottolenghi and I couldn't wait to eat at one of his restaurants the next time I was in London. I opened the book and fell for the photos of all the beautiful dishes. I used my birthday discount to buy the book and then I knew that my first recipe had to be the Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Fresh Figs. Unfortunately, I had to wait until August for the figs to ripen. I checked the markets obsessively for a few weeks and kept asking my friends with fig trees if they were ripe yet. I finally found figs this last Saturday and knew exactly what I would be eating on Sunday.
For some reason, figs remind me of my Dad. We had so much fruit growing up in the central valley but these stand out. I specifically remember him coming home from the farmer's market with a basket and sharing them with me every summer. I thought they were such a delicious fruit and that it was cool that my Dad liked them also.
I became excited about mixing this fruit with one of my other favorite foods, sweet potatoes. The photo in the book showed a dish of beautiful colors and that is what I wanted to eat.
The actual food lived up to my expectations and you can find the recipe here. It's very easy to make. And I loved the kick of the pepper with the sweet figs and potatoes.
There has been a lot of love shared for the cookbook recently in the NY Times. This article spurred a desire in me to start my own cookbook club. I've gathered a few interested friends and I'm looking forward to explore this book and other recipe resources starting next month.