This perfect summer salad combines both fresh and dried figs in a sweet-tangy vinaigrette. Amelia O’Reilly recommends using purple Mission figs for their balance of acidity and sweetness. “The brown figs are fat and one-note sweet,” she says.
Slideshow:Amazing Summer Salads
Recipe from Food & Wine America's Greatest New Cooks
2 dried figs, finely chopped
1/2 cup hazelnuts
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound romano beans
1 head of butter lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
8 fresh figs, quartered lengthwise
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 325°. In a small bowl, cover the dried figs with warm water and let them stand until they are plumped, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, spread the hazelnuts in a pie plate and toast in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the nuts are fragrant and the skins blister. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel and let cool slightly, then rub them together to remove the skins. Let cool completely, then coarsely chop.
In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar with the shallot and mustard and season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes. Drain the plumped figs and whisk them into the vinaigrette along with the parsley and olive oil.
In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the romano beans until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and cool under running water, then pat the beans dry. Cut the beans into 1/2-inch pieces on the diagonal.
Add the butter lettuce, hazelnuts and romano beans to the vinaigrette and toss well; season with salt and pepper. Transfer the salad to bowls, top with the fresh figs and serve right away.
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