I’ve decided that one of my new projects is to create aesthetically pleasing as possible salads. Mainly because my waist measurement is crying out for me to do so in lieu of perfecting the creamiest possible fudge, but also in part because summer is over, and there are only so many more sunny days for thrown together meals like this are completely called and craved for.
Figs are in season, and this is the ultimate dish to saladbrate it (I simultaneously want to delete that/forget I ever typed it whilst also cackling softly at my poor attempt at being punny). While I’m the first to wrinkle my nose at pineapple on a pizza, I had no hesitation in rushing to the farmers’ market to nab a box of fresh figs before they sold out (usually before 0930! which quite frankly, is country town madness). I can eat all of the elements of this salad quite pleasurably on their own, but they came together beautifully for an easy Sunday lunch.
Plated individually, this would be a great starter for a March dinner party. Dried figs could also be used if fresh are tricky/expensive to source – I would poach them in a little honey and water in advance to plump them up and forego the honey drizzle.
Serves two as a large lazy lunch or four as a starter:
- Eight fresh figs, quartered
- 100g goat’s cheese
- 4 large pieces prosciutto
- 50g pistachios, raw
- 2 tbsp boiling water
- 2 tsp sweetener (I used stevia)
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tsp liquid honey for drizzling
- 4 handfuls rocket (arugula) or mesclun)
- Edible lavender sprigs for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350F/175C bake. In a small bowl, combine the pistachios, sweetener of choice, salt and boiling water. Mix to coat the pistachios and then spread evenly in a small roasting dish or baking tray to roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes – until the liquid has evaporated and they are starting to turn golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool – these can be prepped in advance and stored in an airtight container.
- Arrange the rocket evenly on a serving platter, followed by the figs, then the prosciutto – torn into rough pieces and rolled up so it can “stand” tall. Crumble the goats cheese, then top with a few extra leaves to add height. Drizzle with olive oil, honey and season with a little salt and pepper. Garnish with the pistachio nuts and lavender sprigs.
- Serve immediately.