Massaged Loquats with Dried Figs and Fast Black Garlic

Loquat Fruit Salad

Most of the time, I pop loquats in my mouth and spit out the stones. But they can also make for a very delightful first or main course, as I find. Massaging loquats yields a comfortingly soft and welcoming texture while distributing the gentle acidity and sweetness of its juice. Black Garlic is a product that needs several weeks to ferment. However, I find one can achieve a comparable product (but still different) by roasting them in a pan and then immediately adding diluted soy sauce.


Serves 2. Prep time: 25 min

INGREDIENTS

14 loquats, halved lengthwise and pitted
6-8 dried figs (depending on size)
3 cloves of garlic, cut in 1-3 mm slices approximately
1/4 soy sauce
4 tbsp roasted almonds, chopped
6 leaves of fresh lavender or 2 tbsp dried lavender (possibly flowers)
red bell pepper powder or (sweet chilli)
salt, pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

METHOD

Massage the loquats gently. Try not to hurt the skin but make sure the loquats become softer. Keep the juice. Blend the figs. Roast the garlic on high heat in a pan while making sure not to burn it. When part of the slices have become considerably brown but not yet black, transfer them to a small saucepan, add the soy sauce and bring to boil. Lower the heat or add a bit of water if the soy sauce starts to get foamy and starts sticking. Tilt the pan (by using the metal grid on a gas hob or a heat-resistant object that can be placed under the pan) and after turning off the heat, let the diluted soy sauce reduce for 5 min into the garlic pieces. All the flavour will concentrate in the garlic. In a small bowl, combine very little fig syrup with the almonds and add salt, pepper and the red bell pepper powder. Place the loquats on a plate, add the almonds and the garlic. Drizzle olive oil on top and the lemon juice on the sides. Enjoy : )


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