Sunday, August 31, 2008

Salad with Fresh Figs, Mushrooms, & Spinach

I absolutely loved this salad and the recipe has a beautiful efficiency about it that makes it a perfect candidate for a dinner party, where time is of the essence.

The green salad is a mix of green herb salad and fresh baby spinach. The portobello mushrooms were sliced thin and brushed with a mixture of extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and pressed garlic. Put these on a baking tray covered with foil, along with the halved fresh figs, which were topped with balsamic. Under the broiler for 2 minutes. Turned the mushrooms and brushed the other side with the olive oil, balsamic, and garlic and topped the figs with slivered Arina Goat Cheese (a very creamy but sliceable goat cheese). Added some walnut halves to the tray and put them under the broiler for another 1 1/2 minutes. Added some more olive oil to the remaining oil-balsamic-garlic mixture and tossed with the salad greens. Added a tiny pinch of sea salt over the greens, then topped with the mushrooms, walnuts and figs.

I was cursing my past-it's-useful-life red onion, when I came up with the idea of using the garlicy mushroom marinade as the dressing for the greens. I'm not big on sweet with savory, but this was a fabulous success! The combination of fresh, toothy chlorophyll greens, pungent garlic, soft, salty mushrooms, and luscious, mouthy fresh figs (yep, I'm going to town on the description, at the risk of sounding pretentious!), with that creamy Arina goat cheese. Yes! Add the crunch of toasted walnuts and I was completely satisfied.

And you can whip this out in less than 10 minutes. That's my kind of amazing salad!

p.s. Apologies for the less than perfect shots of this baby. The days are getting shorter and my photos are suffering, but I'm not quite ready to start cooking earlier. Enjoy!

p.p.s. Challenge: I know people dislike the word "toothy". How would you describe chlorophyll texture of spinach or purslane?


Blogger preppy little dress said...

that looks delicious, love the idea of adding figs!

9:14 AM  

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