I love figs. Yummie, sticky, foreign bundles of goodness. The operative word there being: foreign. Growing up on the oh-so-tropical island of Ireland figs weren’t exactly ten a penny. Unless of course you count the dried or fig-rolled varieties, which don’t really taste the same. Instead, these were slightly strange looking yokes found only on Mediterranean summer holidays and in racy short stories by Enda O’Brien.
So a few days ago when I was walking past my (now) local fruit shop in Sydney and spotted a whole tray of these little parcels of yum, I just had to get some. Once I got them home though I will admit, I was a little stumped about what to actually do with them. Enter the Avoca Salads book and an idea was born (or borrowed).
As ever, I didn’t quite stick to the recipe. I tried to grill the figs to caramelise them and make them that little bit sweeter. I had this idea that they would get lovely griddle pan scorch marks on them and look really cool. They didn’t. But they did caramelise slightly and I served them still a little warm. I think it worked, The Fella certainly didn’t complain.
Fig, goat’s cheese and pine nuts salad
4 handfuls of colourful mixed leaves
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
200 g (7 oz) soft goat’s cheese
1 tbsp pine nuts
Cut the figs into quarters and place flesh side down on a hot griddle pan for about two minutes or until slightly caramelised. Allow to cool slightly.
Carefully toast the pin nuts in a dry pan, making sure they don’t burn. Allow them to cool slightly.
Season the salad leaves with salt and pepper, dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and arrange on four plates.
Break up the goat’s cheese and sprinkle over the leaves. Arrange the figs on the leaves and sprinkle the pine nuts on top.
I’m a total goat’s cheese fiend. I love the stuff. Mix it with the very sweet and oh-so-exotic figs and you’ve an instant hit in my book. Plus, it’s a salad and therefore totally healthy and good for you. Win-win situation.
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