Too Hot For Words

It's been extremely hot and humid here in the Natural State these last few days and today finally brought some much needed rain. Heat and humidity act as an appetite suppressor for me (and who wouldn't complain about losing a few pounds from lack of eating?!) so my meals have mainly consisted of salads, fruit, cheese and fresh veggies. I'm just as happy munching on a fruit and cheese platter or making a meal out of salad caprese and a glass of wine.

Finding a half used bag of dried figs in the pantry and a partial log of goat cheese in the fridge, I had the makings for this delicious salad dressing that was part of a Diane Mott Davidson novel called "Sticks and Scones" that I read some time ago. Davidson's novels revolve around a character named Goldie who owns a catering business in Colorado and winds up finding herself mixed up in murders, mysteries, and drama. If you enjoy light suspenseful reading, you should check her out.

This recipe calls for fresh figs and I've certainly used fresh ones in the recipe but this time I used the dried figs and only used about 2 ounces. Dried figs weigh less than fresh ones and if you use the full 4 ounces of dried, it becomes too heavy with figs. I quartered the dried ones and let them soak in the port for just a bit to reconstitute (add just a bit more port if your figs soak up any of it) and then proceeded with the recipe. I will admit, too, that I strain the figs out of the dressing because figs fall into my consistency issue problem.

Enjoy and stay cool!!

* Exported from MasterCook *

Figgy Salad

Recipe By :Diane Mott Davidson
Serving Size : 6
Categories : Salads/Salad Dressings

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
4 ounces figs
1/2 cup ruby port
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons hazelnuts
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 large shallot -- minced
2 ounces chevre cheese -- softened & sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper -- to taste
8 cups field greens

Cut the stems off the figs, rinse and pat dry. Place them in a small saucepan with the port and sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover the pan, lower the heat to the lowest setting and simmer gently for about 10 minutes, or until the figs are soft. Drain the figs, reserving the cooking liquid. Allow the figs to cool, then slice them into quarters and set aside.

Using a wide frying pan, toast the hazelnuts over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they emit a nutty smell, about 5-10 mins. Remove from the heat, and when they are cool, coarsely chop them.

Reheat the cooking liquid over low heat and stir in the vinegar, shallot, chevre, oil, and seasonings. Add the figs and raise the heat to medium low. Stir the dressing until the cheese is completely melted.

Toss with field greens and sprinkle nuts on top.

"Sticks & Scones"
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gina said...

Your salad looks so good!

I've read all the DMD books...and I'm reading Fudge Cupcake Murder right now.

Have also tried a few recipes...there are definitely some good ones.


Alison said...

I need to catch up on my reading Gina. I'm taking a stack of magazines with me to Chicago tomorrow to look thru on the plane. After that maybe I'll start on my books again. But yeah, I like her of the first blogposts I made was about some cookie bars that were in one of DMD's books...they were awesome!


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