Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fig Salad with Spinach, Beets, and Blue Cheese

The first figs of the season are in, so we picked up a box at Whole Foods. Looking at the price tag on them made me long for the upcoming mid-summer days when local figs are abundant. We track the daily progress of the few green fruits on the two fig trees we planted last year, and cannot wait for the fruit to ripen on a huge tree that hangs over into my older brother's yard.

This simple salad is a celebration of the fig. The other ingredients are designed to coax out the sweetness inherent in the fruit and then balance it out.

Makes two large salads.

For the dressing:

1 small shallot (finely diced)
a few glugs of olive oil
a tablespoon or two of honey
1 tablespoon of golden balsamic vinegar
s & p

Whisk all ingredients in a large bowl.

For the salad:
1 small bag of spinach
4 large black figs
6 small beets (or 1 large one)
4 ounces of danish blue cheese
salt & pepper
olive oil
2 thick slices of rustic bread

Cut peeled beets into bite-sized pieces and sauté in olive oil until tender. Remove beets and set aside. Place slices of bread into the pan to soak up the remaining olive oil. Allow the bread to brown in the pan. Add the spinach to the dressing and toss until evenly coated. Arrange spinach on a plate; top with sliced figs, beets, and crumbled blue cheese. Serve with grilled toast.


Rose said...

Great combination of flavors! I love this. Can't wait to try it :)

janes said...

Following our conversation and road trip, I bought some beets the other day and tried both poached and browned in olive oil. YUM! New fav root! ~ Thanks for the tip.

Anonymous said...

this was so good! I was in a rush, so I used pickled beets and all I could find at Whole Foods was dried figs, but it still worked out great, amazing combo.

Ann4mation said...

This sounds like a great combination! I have fresh figs, blue cheese, arugula and romaine lettuce, peaches, blueberries *and* beets, but I'm too hot (and lazy ;) to subject myself to the giant oven-induced sauna that roasting beets will make of my house, so I'm thinking I'll use the blueberries or peaches instead. But if I'm as restless tonight as I have been the past couple nights, I may be having the salad again *with* the beets around 4:00 a.m. :)