Grilled Fig Salad with Spiced Cashews

A vibrant, Asian-style sesame, ginger and scallion dressing brings together the soft, sweet figs and extra-crunchy nuts in this salad by Ratha Chaupoly and Ben Daitz.

Slideshow: Fig Recipes
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 scallions, green parts only, finely chopped (1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted black sesame seeds
  • 12 fresh figs, halved
  • Pepper
  • 2 heads of Bibb or oak leaf lettuce (10 ounces), leaves torn

How to make this recipe

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water to a boil. Boil over moderately low heat, undisturbed, until a light amber caramel forms, about 5 minutes. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and five-spice powder. Stir in the cashews until evenly coated. Scrape the cashews onto the prepared baking sheet and spread in an even layer; season with salt and cool. Break up the glazed cashews into individual pieces.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the 1/4 cup of canola oil with the sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, ginger, scallions and sesame seeds.

  3. Light a grill and oil the grate. Brush the cut sides of the figs with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat just until lightly charred and barely juicy, about 2 minutes per side; transfer to a plate.

  4. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce with two-thirds of the dressing and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the lettuce on plates and top with the figs. Drizzle more dressing over the figs, sprinkle with the candied cashews and serve.

Make Ahead

The candied cashews can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Suggested Pairing

Bright, lightly floral white.

Photo © Christina Holmes Published October 2014

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