Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Classy lunch: roast fig salad

There really are some brilliant perks of working at home. One, which I am exploiting on a regular basis, is access to my own kitchen to create a midday lunch of epic proportions.

Today serendipity lead me to making this humongously good salad for lunch. On Sunday I had randomly flipped over to 4seven and had caught a few minutes of BSG's* Ultimate Cookery Course and saw a recipe for roast figs. Whilst on Saturday in Sainsbury's I had bought a box of figs. I had some interesting left-overs in the fridge today including some rocket and blue cheese. The world it seemed was taking me down a path... this phenomenal salad of roast fig and blue cheese.

This was one of those times when all the components came together just perfectly: the earthy, sweet fig with a tang of balsamic, a fresh burst of lemon in the dressing, salty and tangy blue cheese and aromatic tarragon in the salad.

Let's not beat about the bush: I hit it out the ball park.

*Big Sweary Gordon

Roast fig salad

This would be perfect as a starter. (It being lunch I actually had the whole pack of figs in one go...)

Ingredients (The quantities here are a rough guide as I was just cooking with what was available):
For the figs:
4 figs
~4oz caster sugar
~1/2oz butter
Balsamic vinegar
~2oz blue cheese
For the salad dressing:
Juice and zest of half a lemon
1/2 shallot, finely diced
Rocket leaves

1. Melt the sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan until a rich caramel is produced.
2. Take off the heat and add a know of butter, a splash of balsamic and some water to the caramel.
3. Return to a low heat, stand the figs in the pan and baste with the caramel.
4. Bake the figs for 5mins at 190°C.
5. Remove the figs form the oven and baste. Carefully cut a cross into each fig and place a knob of blue cheese in the centre of each. Return to the oven for another 5mins.
6. Meanwhile, make the salad dressing by mixing lemon juice, shallot and olive oil. (Don't forget to season).
7. Take the figs out and leave to cool.
8. Toss the rocket and tarragon in the dressing and place in the serving bowl. Put a fig in the centre. Dress the salad with some more blue cheese around the fig. Drizzle some of the fig caramel to over the salad and finally finish off with sprinkle of the lemon zest.

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