Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day 544 : Fig Salad

Last night I had a friend over for wine and nibbles and had purchased some small Spanish figs from Fairway, among other goodies, but these figs inspired a simple salad idea that I will have to make this week. I adore figs and definitely think they are under utilized in savory dishes, yes you see them often on a cheese plate, but rarely do you see them in other savory dishes, sometimes in salads with the classic goat cheese, arugula pairing. I think that they are a fantastic way to add a savory sweetness to a variety of dishes.

Let me preface -- these were Spanish figs that are small and dainty but packed full of flavor, not too sweet, but with a nice rustic finish. So what are we going to do with them?

Grab a small carton of heirloom cherry tomatoes which are actually around the same size as the figs. Take about 2/3 of a cup of each and dice in half. Combine with a half of a cucumber diced very finely, great for crunch. Add one clove of finely diced garlic for an aromatic boost and a tablespoon of sauteed shallots. Next up, add some sea salt and drizzle lightly with EVOO. Now top with very thin shavings of Prince de Claverolle otherwise known as Pyrenees Ossau Vielle, a firm aged raw sheep's milk cheese from the Pyrenees. The cheese is nutty, brown buttery, and butterscotchy with a nice rustic, farmsteady finish. Top with a few basil leaves for a vegetal, herbaceous touch. A great simple melange of ingredients that will allow you to taste and savor each element of this salad.

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