This is my favourite recipe for using up leftover red wine. I know, I know… Right now you may be thinking, “Leftover red wine? Like THAT ever happens”. Well in my house, it happens. My husband doesn’t drink wine and I’m not a big boozer, so whenever a bottle is opened – usually because somebody has brought a bottle of red round, or given one as a present – there is a fair chance that it will pass its best and end up joining my special collection of half-filled bottles of plonk.
I never pour old wine away and I don’t worry about it turning into vinegar. Instead, I save it and cook with it. The leftover red wine is great in stews: I cook a great Spanish stew with white fish and red wine in the slow cooker. I’ll have to write it up sometime. The white goes into sauces and seafood dishes.
I do have a favourite recipe, howver, and I’ve copied it out below with some pictures. This is my amended version of an old Nigella Lawson recipe from her essential first tome, How To Eat. It is a pudding, and a very good one at that: quick, simple, cheap and delicious.
Here it is:
Figs Baked in Red Wine
1. Figs. You’ll want two figs per person. If you haven’t bought fresh figs before: they’re in the fruit & veg and they aren’t expensive. Cut each fig into quarters, but don’t cut all the way through (as shown above). Pop in them in a bowl, as above.
2. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 / 190°C.
3. Wine. Add the red wine to a saucepan. With four figs you’ll want at least 200ml. Add 30g of butter.
4. Honey. Add 2-3 tablespoons to the saucepan.
5. Cardomum pods. Add a few to the saucepan. If you don’t have a jar of cardamum in the cupboard, chuck in a cinnamon stick instead. Heat the lot up until the butter melts and the honey dissolves into a sweet, silky sauce.
6. Bake in the oven, gas mark 5, for 15-20 minutes. Let it sit for a couple of minutes before serving. Done!
Nigella suggests serving it with a dollop of Greek yoghurt, but I serve it with vanilla ice cream. It tastes yum – I hope you like it.