A Salad of Fresh Figs Almonds & Smoked Cheese with an Ottolenghi Inspired Dressing

I have had a fig tree for as long as I can remember. It started life in mine and Mr.Scott’s first ever flat with a garden in Kensal Rise (NW London) and has been with us for two subsequent moves. It has survived neglect, frosts, snow and whatever the soil and it’s mixed surroundings has provided. I am fond of the tree but in all the years  I have had it, it has never produced an edible fruit.

It actually has not grown much either. I noticed this since holidaying in France where the fig trees seem to thrive and produce a ridiculous amount of dark purple, plump and juicy fruits. They also grow to an impressive size. I adore the leaves which look like stretched out hands. So, something has gone wrong. Like the British climate perhaps?!!

But, considering that my local Thursday market offers 4 fruits for £1, I will accept this bargain and continue to buy their excellent value fruits. While I was there last week, I also managed to buy chive, sage and lavender plants at £1 a go. It is a funny little market and so very far removed from the staggeringly good quality produce that I have been used to in France recently. But, if you like cooking, it is a goldmine of cheap and cheerful ingredients.

I wanted to create a salad that  puts the fig at centre stage. Particularly as it is my chosen ingredient for the “ONE INGREDIENT” challenge this month  (alongside WORKING LONDON MUMMY). As it is also seasonal, I will be entering it into Ren Behan’s  SIMPLE AND IN SEASON which is being hosted by Katie at FEEDING BOYS  this month.

This is really just a combination of flavours that I thought about and put together to work in harmony. I do hope you think they work well too. The dressing is to celebrate one of my favourite cooks Yotam Ottolenghi, whose food programme “Jerusalem”  is a triumph. His book was featured HERE last Sunday and I was inspired………………….

A Salad of Fresh Figs Almonds & Smoked Cheese with an Ottolenghi Inspired Dressing

Ingredients :- Serves 2

For the salad :-

  • 1 bag of rocket

  • 4 fresh figs cut into segments

  • A handful of  good quality skinned almonds sliced (Marcona are amazing)

  • A generous chunk of British smoked Cheddar sliced using a potato peeler

For the dressing :-

  • 2 heaped tbsp of natural yoghurt

  • 1 level tbsp of tahini

  • 1tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 2tbsp water

  • 1tsp sumac

  • A pinch of garlic powder

  • Salt & Pepper

Method :-

For the salad :-

  • Place all the ingredients onto a large plate or  flat platter in a random fashion.

For the dressing :-

  • Measure and  place the ingredients into a bowl or jug.

  • Stir well and taste .

  • Season as much or as little as you like. (I think it benefits from a generous amount of salt and pepper)

  • You can tailor the dressing to suit your own taste and add more lemon or extra yoghurt for a richer, thicker dressing.

  • Add the dressing to the salad with a spoon but do not mix it in as you would do with a regular mixed salad. Dot it over (I can’t use the word “drizzle!”) and have more to hand as it is quite addictive.

Notes :-

  • This is not really a main meal. I ate it on two nights as part of a meal. Once with baked salmon and once with some spicy roast poussin.

  • It would make a lovely salad lunch served with flatbreads or pittas to dip into any spare dressing.

    + The tahini sauce also worked  as a dressing for some roasted aubergines, tomatoes and onions that I cooked in the oven at the same time as the poussin.

Comments

  1. Oh I just love fresh figs, that looks such a tasty salad.

  2. I often serve cheese with sliced figs. We have a huge fig tree in the garden, but the only time we had proper ripe figs was last year, we had quite a big crop in July, and they were lovely. This year because of the frosts the tree was naked for a very long time before deciding it was time to get some leaves on, I can see some figs, but they are all green and rock hard.
    Very nice salad, lots of textures and flavours.

  3. I’m all about salads this month after a hugely over indulgent summer, so this looks great. That dressing sounds particularly good – Ottolenghi’s recipes are always full of such interesting flavours I find – love him! Thanks for linking up again Laura :-)

  4. This looks lovely Laura. I have never had figs with a hard cheese before, so I’m really keen to try this. Your local market sounds like a real find!

  5. This sounds delicious. I adore figs and I love the thought of the flavours in the dressing. My husband isn’t a tahini fan so this sounds likes one for when he’s on a late shift and I’m eating alone. 

  6. this looks lovely – I’ve only ever had figs baked but I think I’m going to buy more this week & try a salad.

  7. This sounds lovely! I’m not very adventurous with figs but I think I may have to give this a try, love smoked cheese and the dressing sounds great! 

    • I love raw figs even more than cooked as I love the crunch of the seeds. It would make a lovely salad, particularly if you like your smoked cheese :))x

  8. Wow what a lovely idea to use smoked cheese. I do love fig in salad and this one has a wonderful combination of flavours! x

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