Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Salad with Figs, Manchego, & Walnuts

Summer has hit the farmers' markets: suddenly there's tomatoes, blueberries, and figs!

I've never done much with figs, 'cept eat them as they are. But in the last few days, I've had them twice, broiled with cheese - phenomenal!

Turns out, figs provide not only a good dose of fiber and a lovely sweet taste, but are also good sources of potassium, calcium, and iron. Figs contain flavonoids and polyphenols, both known for their antioxidant characteristics. Thus, this recipe is my contribution to Sweetnicks ARF/5-A-Day Tuesday (ARF=Antioxidant Rich Food).

This salad with figs, Manchego, & walnuts is a delicious blend of sweet and savory. The recipe comes from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Manchego is a firm Spanish cheese, originally from La Mancha. Slightly dry and salty, aged for 6 months, it's rind has a brown herringbone pattern. I love this flavorful cheese and it provides an excellent contrast to the intense sweetness of the ripe figs.

This salad is a wonderful combination of flavors and textures and great for you. So, eat it up!

Salad with Figs, Manchego, & Walnuts (adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone):

1 small shallot, finely chopped
4 oz spring mix, or red and green lettuce
3 figs, sliced into rounds
1-1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
handful of walnut pieces
Manchego cheese shavings

Whisk together the olive oil and vinegars. Combine the chopped shallot with the spring mix/lettuce and add most of the dressing. Add the rounds of figs and walnuts and the rest of the dressing. Toss gently. Serve topped with shavings of Manchego.


Anonymous Jennifer said...

That looks heavenly. Figs and cheese is such a great combo--I love the idea of Manchego!

1:31 PM  
Anonymous elle said...

i have not had any figs yet this summer and now i must thanks to your nice summer salad.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I have never ever tasted a fig... I'm going to have to give them a try

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

What a lovely salad. Now you have me craving healthy food. How dare you! *smile*

7:37 PM  
Blogger Alanna said...

I have GOT to get that cookbook.

You'll laugh but I'm having a vegetarian couple for supper on Saturday and have been completely afussle about what to have, given the "constraints" of rhubarb pie for desssert (so no quiche, no crepes)and needing to cook 90% the day before and wanting to take advantage of all the great fresh stuff. Moosewood was NO HELP. I finally found something perfect I even thought about going straight to the bookstore to buy this cookbook but restrained myself for the moment.

But I was amazed how hard it was to not just "grill meat" and do salads, how I've lost my vegetarian DNA in the 10 years I've been eating meat again even after 8 years of not eating meat. Crazy!!

7:50 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Hi everyone: Figs & cheese are a great combo! I really liked the manchego match - preferred it to goat cheese, which is more commonly matched with figs.

Amy - I like fresh figs but I'm not so keen on dried.

Jennifer -that's the whole idea!

AK - I highly recommend Madison's book - it really is extensive! So what did you decide to make for your veggie friends?

2:55 PM  

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