An afternoon with Fig & Fauna and some raw beet and goat cheese ravioli

“How many days until we get to go to the farm?” asked Jon over and over again — counting down the days, hours, and minutes.

“Hmmm….” I thought.

Menacing skies and heavy downpours threatened our plans to spend the afternoon at the farm with Fig & Fauna.

It’s funny how life has a way of bringing people together sometimes, doesn’t it?.

I only recently learned about the Fig & Fauna blog through my friend Kerri who said to me “you have to visit their farm!”. Featured in Kinfolk and collaborations with Tiger in a Jar amongst others. I was really taken by their aesthetic

How is it that I have lived so close to them all this time and have never crossed paths until now? Always surprises me when that happens.

That afternoon, the rain finally stopped so I packed up the kids and drove to the farm without hesitation. I could not let this one pass — nor would my kids.

When we arrived, Megan and Rose greeted us kindly. They are the two sister-in-law behind Fig & Fauna. They live on a beautifully-kept farm not far from where we live. On this property, along with their husbands and darling little Dane, they raise cows, pigs, goats, chickens, rabbits, and even keep bees — hypnotizing bees. I have never seen Jon and Miren more focused and still as when we watched the bees.

There is also a plentiful garden. I would have loved to see it a couple of months ago during the peak of growing season in Florida. They even grew white strawberries, which I have never seen outside of Europe. Needless to say, I was quite disappointed I had missed the white strawberries. But not to worry, they still had a plentiful garden with yellow carrots, watermelon radishes, tomatoes, eggplants, beans… even a fig tree.

Of course there was a fig tree.

Miren and Dane immediately hit it off. They went off to say hi to the rabbits and collect eggs.

Jon sat in the rocking chair in front of the bees patiently waiting for Megan’s husband Mike to come home. His excitement was visible with his non-stop hair twirling (taking after me).

I asked Megan and Rose a million questions of “how did this all come about” and “when” and “where”. I needed all the details of how a family gets to build not only a sustainable life but a beautiful one as well. It is all about the small details, the individual choices… of what to grow and how to grow it. I was in awe as I was watching Megan harvest pigmented watermelon radishes and sweet and peppery yellow carrots out of this black soil — the black soil Florida is known for.

When Mike arrived in his truck, all the kids flocked to him. They knew he was the key to get to the bees.

Jon, Miren, and Dane sat about six feet away from Mike as he pulled panel after panel. They listened quietly and the bees did not even make a fuss. They were busy making honey.

That afternoon I learned some interesting bits about the social structure of bees, how they operate, and how their behavior is highly steered by their queen’s personality. I found it all so interesting. I know a little about chickens and their behavior but had never really learned much about bees. And there they were, calm and collected.

Megan arranged a colorful basket of vegetables for us to bring home. I couldn’t wait to cook with them.

Suddenly, the sky turned black and we knew it was time to run. Thanked everyone for their generosity and ran for shelter.

The smell of onions in our car was making me hungry.

Jon and Miren feel asleep on the way home. I started to imagine all the dishes I wanted to make with them. I knew the striped beets would have to be turned into beet ravioli.That night I made pisto with the onions, peppers, zucchini, and eggplants.

So during the weekend we ate from the Fig & Fauna garden.

Thinly shaved striped beets filled with goat cheese and herbs and dressed with a parsley oil vinaigrette made a great little appetizer.

We also ate a spring salad with fava beans, fennel, yellow carrots, watermelon radishes, tomatoes and soft-cooked eggs, as well as a yellow carrot and fennel soup that I finished today for lunch.

So, so good.

And now, we will just have to turn to say hi to the cows and watch Mike collect some honey. I say we do.


Raw Striped-Beet Ravioli with Herb and Goat Cheese Filling

serves 4

Parsley Oil

2/3 cup (175 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup packed fresh parsley

Combine in a blender and mix until green. Strain into a glass jar and refrigerate.

Goat Cheese and Herb Filling

4 ounces (110 g) goat cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon parsley oil

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip (this is optional as you may fill the ravioli using a small teaspoon, but this makes it easier in my experience)

Striped Beet Ravioli

2 medium striped beets (or any other beets), peeled
1/4 cup (60 ml) parsley oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Microgreens (optional)
Using a mandoline, thinly slice the beets. Slice them as thin as possible. Cut each slice with a cookie cutter that is approximately 2.5-inches in diameter, but that will depend on the size of your beets.

Arrange all the beet slices on your work surface. Pipe a small of filling (like 1/2 teaspoon) onto the center of half of the beet slices leaving about 1/5-inch border around the edge. Using a small pastry brush or your finger, brush the edges with water. Place another slice of beet on top and gently press down on the edges. It will be a bit smaller than the bottom and that is ok, just make sure to tuck in the filling well. Finish filling all the beet slices.

Whisk together the parsley oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Arrange the beet ravioli in bowls, drizzle with the vinaigrette and top with microgreens. Serve immediately


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67 Responses to “An afternoon with Fig & Fauna and some raw beet and goat cheese ravioli”

  1. A fabulous and refined dish! Magnificent.

    Goregous shots and lovely tattoo!



  2. Beautiful memories, those you are creating.


  3. J says:

    Rabbits! <3 amongst many other lovely things (:

  4. Iratxe says:

    OMG!… Aran, qué tarde maravillosa, qué momento tan especial para los niños. Muxuak.

  5. I love the atmosphere of those pictures, everything seems so perfectly romantical. Nothing is better to picture than fresh veggies from your garden!

    And what seems to be a short apron over you dress is actually great just as a skirt, nice patterns and colours!

  6. Wow you did a great job of capturing the beauty of that farm. Love your story and the photos. Makes me want to visit!

  7. Your pictures are wonderful

  8. Denise says:

    What a beautiful day you described Aran! I anxiously checked out their blog when you posted about them the other day. Like you I wondered how have I not known about them & that they are in our area. Do they sell to the public? Attend any of the green markets?

    Your ravioli sounds amazing, and I’m not sure if I’m a beet fan yet. I’ve never known how to prepare them or what to do. Thanks for sharing!!


  9. What a lovely trip that your children will never forget. Neither will you! You make the farm look magical through your gift of photography. As always, I’m inspired.

  10. Anna says:

    Such a beautiful farm and so nice that you get to visit so many lovely places. I really can’t wait to try the beet ravioli it if full of some of my favorite flavors. Thanks for the recipe!

  11. No sure if they still do, but John Scheeper’s Kitchen Garden Seeds has carried white, yellow, and red alpine strawberry seeds.

    Black soil–what a wonderful thing! Ours is white, alkaline, and so hard that you have to jackhammer holes for trees.Plus, we only get 2″ of rain a year. Nevertheless, it hasn’t stopped me from gardening. I just have to buy dirt and keep trying.

  12. This post is just some kind of wonderful Aran…….gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing it all with us, you are a daymaker.
    Imen x

  13. So earthy and organic. Nothing can be more wholesome :)

    Love the styling, as always!

  14. My gosh, that just all sounds so delightful and delicious. I can’t wait to try these recipes out for myself!

  15. Glüxkind says:

    Your pics are amazing! I love them so much and follow them on instragram as well. Please continue that way! Greetings *Gluexkind*

  16. Now that is what I call grocery shopping!! A true experience in nourishing yourself with the fruits of the earth. How wonderful that there is still the opportunity to see food in all its glory, straight from the earth picked at its peak ripeness. Thank you for sharing this experience with us!

  17. Iren says:

    this post woke up so many feelings inside of me… a longing for pureness, simplicity and the sensuality of beeing so close to nature. I wish I could run such a farm!

    Your pics ar gorgeous and the food gives me a power kick just by looking at it!

    Many thanks!

  18. Denise- I don’t believe they sell to the public yet as they are just starting out, although I do think that will be the goal eventually.

    Pudent Homemaker- I admire your dedication. That’s wonderful!

    Thank you all. So glad to read that this post brings you closer to nature. :)

  19. So beautiful – those blue eggs, that white cutlery. I love it all.
    We have an enormous, ancient fig tree that fruits like crazy every spring but the fruit drops in early summer before it gets a chance to ripen. Breaks my heart.
    Lottie :: Oyster and Pearl

  20. Anonymous says:

    The most beautiful tatooed hands i’ve ever seen.

  21. Wow so incredibly beautiful! You capture everything in such an amazing way.

  22. Just beautiful -as always! And she has taken farming into a new, very cool realm! Great job!

  23. Lissa says:

    this is absolutely one of the best posts I’ve ever read! I have been following fig and fauna very closely since kimberly taylor told me about them. these photos and this story are to die for! And you’ve passed your passion for cooking those lovely vegetables on to me quite nicely. that photo of the beets (I think they’re beets) with the water is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen! I love this post! Thank you for inspiring me so much this afternoon!

  24. What a happy place to spend some time. Your food is almost as pretty as your little girl. The colors are to die for in your pics. Hope you are having a lovely start of summer Aran.

  25. Wow!!!! What exquisite photographs..I absolutely love this post ~ Thank you for inspiring me once again in so many ways here..just lovely!

  26. Thank you everyone for your kind comments. We had such a lovely time with Megan and family that I feel it shows in the images. xo

  27. *Ulrike* says:

    Those are the best type of memories to share. I felt right at home looking at the photos as we have bees, chickens, and somewhat of a garden. I’ll check out the recipes too.

  28. Kim Bee says:

    I am speechless over this one. The photos are just stunning. Love the shots with the kids. I am always so in awe of your talent.

  29. Stunning photography! I appreciate the concept of sustainability and this illustrates it beautifully. (:


  30. By the way, Aran, figs are really easy to grow. Even in our poor soil, our tree triples in size every year. Mission figs double crop, and mine would triple crop if it weren’t for the light frost we get here. They are a GREAT shade tree. I know you have a little garden; I don’t know what room you have for fruit trees. I would love to see your garden!

    I clicked over to the Fig and Fauna blog and read quite a bit; thank you for the introduction!

  31. Stephanie says:

    Your blog is especially stunning this week Aran. I am riveted! So glad you discovered that farm–it looks perfect. And your bounty is amazing. Our farmer’s market season starts on Saturday here in Seattle and I can’t wait. Hopefully it stops raining by then and I can put away my winter coat :) xo See you manana!

  32. Krasja says:

    This is the life!

    I really like your blog :)

  33. Laura says:

    Wow! How incredible and beautiful! The recipe looks so delicious and fresh and that farm! What can I eve say about it?!

  34. Sini says:

    Seems like you had a pretty amazing trip to the farm. Your raviolis look and sound delicious. A perfect lunch or appetizer. And hey! The first time I saw a fig tree! :D Now I know where they come from (okay, I knew they grow on trees but didn’t know how it actually looks like).

  35. Maja says:

    What a beautiful day, Aran! Ravioli looks perfect.

  36. onblonde says:

    Hi Aran, it was a pleasure to meet you and your family! When we collect the honey, you all will have to come visit and Jon can help me with the process! Love the post, thank you for the smiles this morning as I read the post and look at the photos!
    Glad to inspire those of you inclined to dream of farming, as we did not long ago, and yes, Megan is reviving the beauty of small scale farming!

  37. My very first visit to your blog and I am hooked!

    I’m immediately heading over at Fig and Fauna… since I live in the country and try to manage our little farm and gardens I am always looking for inspiration and encouragement!

    Francesca, from Italy

  38. chibiwow says:

    Great shots! I just love farms and freshly-picked and made salads. Noted the recipes and got my eye on your blog now.

  39. Your photos are always breathtaking, and your cooking mouthwatering. :)

    Might I ask where did you get these fully white forks and cuillers from? They look fantastic!
    I know the other cutlery is from Sabre -which I absolutely adore too-, but I’m curious about those. ;)
    Thank you!

  40. Edgar- Those spoons are Pandora but not sure they are available anymore as they were from a few years ago. You might be able to find them still but they are hard to get by.

    Thank you everyone.

    I’m in Seattle right now where I will be speaking at BlogHer Food on a panel about cookbook food photography. Then I am off to Montreal so if you have questions and don’t hear from me right away, please be patient.


  41. Awesome! I didn’t know Pandora Design, and they have reaaally nice products. Thanks a bunch! I’ve been obsessed with getting new cutlery lately, haha. :)

    Always looking forward to your updates. I hope you’re having a great time in Seattle. Enjoy!

  42. Wow, what a beautiful place.

  43. charlotte says:

    très jolies toutes ces photos
    de nature, d’enfants, de maman et de poules,
    I like it very much…
    See you soon

  44. I’ve never been a fan of beets, but I’ll have to give this a try. Looks delish!

  45. Dear Aran, thank you for this wonderful post. I am new to the blogging world, and your photography and work are so inspiring and beautiful! I came across your blog while desperately looking for a recipe for petits suisses for my baby (I am French living in LA) and found yours, which I can’t wait to try! Happy to know I’m not the only one obsessed with petit suisse!!! :-) Helene

  46. a. maren says:

    i love, love, love the idea of using beet shavings for ravioli skins! your creativity with GF recipes never ceases to amaze.

  47. What a lovely family!Love the idea!Sounds like a happy day!

  48. Anonymous says:

    I love your pictures so much! Thank you for all you put our here for free. I have just preorderd your book, and can´t wait until it arrives. Web is easy, but books are better ; )
    Greetings from Norway.

  49. Sound delicious for this recipe! It’s make me so hungry! I can’t wait to eat this :)

  50. Glayki says:

    Really informative post and pics!

  51. Andrea says:

    I would love to get my hands on some of those fresh root veges.

  52. What a lovely adventure, such a beautiful farm and you captured it all so well. I love how creative this dish is! Ravioli from beets, genius. I wish I could join your girls in watching and learning about the bees. They look so remarkably peaceful. Thank you for sharing!

  53. Oooh I just got a bunch of those beets from my CSA. They are gorgeous and tasty. Your photos are amazing!

  54. Evitaa says:

    Great pictures, full of love :).
    And delicious ravioli!

  55. Elena says:

    Fantastic, you’re an artist!!

    Love your photos and recipes!!


  56. Elina says:

    Lovely beautiful photos!

  57. What a beautiful trip – and of course:
    what beautiful photos.

  58. I love this series. Something gets me about being on a farm or just in the garden, love it so much and I cant get enough. I especially love the hose spraying the turnips, beautiful. xn

  59. Kristen says:

    OMG, those yolks! Those salads are beautiful.

  60. what a great day and beautiful pictures! very lovely and inspiring.

  61. Anonymous says:

    as if I spent the day with you…

  62. […] when Jon, Miren and I visited them earlier this year? We loved it there. Can I say that I even felt a […]

  63. […] Fig & Fauna was all about. I visited the farm with Jon and Miren in the Spring. Remember the stormy afternoon we spent there with the chickens and the […]

  64. […] 26. Raw Striped-Beet Ravioli With Herb and Goat Cheese Filling […]

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