Sunday, October 26, 2014

Grilled Fig Salad with Spiced Cashews


Love fresh figs, there is nothing quite like them. I picked up the last basket today at Whole Foods Market. They were ripe and needed to be used straight away. I had just the recipe to showcase their flavor. It’s hard to describe what a fresh fig tastes like. They are sweet but not too sweet and they have a lot of small seeds. I remember as a child always begging my mom to buy Fig Newtons. They were not real popular in our household as I was the only one that liked them.

This is a great salad with spiced glazed cashews and perfectly ripened figs. In the first part of this recipe you are instructed to bring sugar and water together until a light amber caramel forms. For some reason I always seem to have problems with caramel, this time it took me two tries to get the consistency right. The first time I boiled it too long and all the moisture was gone. The sugar was flaky and stuck to the pan. The second time was just right. Chinese five-spice is then added to the caramel mixture to add tons of flavor. Next, the raw cashews are thrown in and then spread on a baking sheet. The end result reminded me of a brittle. Next time I will use roasted nuts for the crunch and then break them up into smaller pieces. The dressing was fantastic and the addition of the black sesame seeds was spot on. We loved the way all the flavors worked together in the end, definitely a recipe worth repeating.

This recipe has been slightly adapted from the Food and Wine magazine. Recipe was created by Ratha Chaupoly and Ben Daitz who own Num Pang, a sanwich shop in New York City.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice
1 cup raw cashews (next time will use roasted)
Salt to taste
1/4 cup canola oil, more for brushing cut side of figs
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
3 scallions, green parts only, thinly cut
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds (toasted)
8 ounces mixed baby greens

To prepare:

Start by lining a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium sized saucepan, combine water and sugar together and bring to a boil, continue to boil over a low heat undisturbed about 5 minutes. The mixture should now be a light amber color.


Remove from heat add five-spice and butter, whisk until combined. Add nuts, cover completely with mixture and then pour unto the baking sheet. Spread in a even layer. Season with salt while still hot. After cooled, break up nuts.

In a small bowl, whisk together canola oil, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, ginger, scallions and black sesame seeds. Set aside.


Prepare grill, lightly brush cut side of figs with canola oil, season with salt and pepper.


Grill until slightly charred about 2 minutes. Remove from grill and set aside.


Arrange lettuce on serving platter, sprinkle with 1/2 dressing. Add figs and nuts. Serve salad with the rest of the dressing on the side. Enjoy!


Cheri Savory Spoon
Cheri Savory Spoon

Mysavoryspoon was first started in 2010 as a way to journal recipes that I had collected from cookbooks, magazines, family and friends. Most everything was savory, using legumes and whole grains. Along the way I discovered a love for baking. Now a couple times a month you might see some type of sweet pie or treat.

65 comments:

  1. I too LOVE fresh figs, esp. in salads. They add such a pleasant sweetness to the dishes. Your salad looks awesome, Cheri.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A fantastic salad! Mouthwatering and refined.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    ReplyDelete
  3. When we were growing up we had two fig trees in our garden. I love the idea of this salad and will try it when figs are in season here :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tandy, how wonderful, there is nothing like a fresh fig.

      Delete
  4. I couldn't find too many great figs this season which is such a shame! Bookmarking this for next year. I will make it my mission to get my hands on them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Joanne, these were the first I got my hands on, also sadly the last.

      Delete
  5. Beautiful salad, and yes, you've got to watch caramel like a hawk. I've had my share of burns and scorches. :/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lea Ann, oh you are so right, every time I have to redo at least once, I never seem to learn.

      Delete
  6. I'm so in love with fresh figs, and this salad sounds like a fantastic way to use them!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Grilled figs are soooo good. What a lovely way to use them!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Looks wonderful. You are right, there is nothing like fresh figs. And thanks for the heads up on the process of making the caramel. I've ruined many a pan trying. D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dena, caramel making is always the trickiest for me. Thanks!

      Delete
  9. This sounds wonderful - I love the Asian-inspired dressing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Awesome salad, will have to make this next year when my fig tree is bearing figs again. Yes, there is nothing like fresh figs especially freshly picked tree ripened figs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Norma, how wonderful you are to have a fig tree in your yard, so envious!

      Delete
  11. What a beautiful salad! The figs and greens look so pretty together. The spiced cashews sound divine as well. I think I'd have a hard time saving any of them for the salad!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amy, I made double the nuts in anticipation!

      Delete
  12. I kept eyeing the figs at the market....meaning to buy some for a salad. I will take one last look tomorrow...and hope I haven't missed my chance! Your salad looks divine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Liz, I think I bought the last of the figs here in my part of town, wish you luck!

      Delete
  13. I tried fresh figs for the first time a few months ago and they were amazing! I still have yet to actually use them in anything though. This salad looks awesome and those spiced cashews sound so good!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Isadora, this is now one of my new favorites!

      Delete
  14. I love love figs too Cheri! I can't wait until they're in season again :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Damn delicius, lovin the charred and caramelized grilled fig!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dedy, that was my favorite part too!

      Delete
  16. I love fresh figs too, Cheri, and I keep promising myself I'm going to do something fabulous with them but it looks like I don't have to now - what a gorgeous recipe! I love that you charred them - the flavor must be delicious!
    Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Robyn, I love to eat them just plain and sometimes with yogurt and a drizzle of honey.

      Delete
  17. This looks fantastic to me..we love figs..I have home made caramel syrup in the fridge..wonder if it could work..now to find figs:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet that would be delicious, I could eat that syrup with a spoon.

      Delete
  18. This is such a pretty salad! The flavors and textures sound lovely. And, now you've reminded me of how much I used to love fig newtons!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lisa, I tried making fig newtons from scratch but have not got the recipe quite right yet, I even like the store bought.

      Delete
  19. Lots of nice flavors in this salad. I didn't see one fig in our markets this year…what a disappointment as I love them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Karen! figs were pretty allusive in our neck of the woods as well.

      Delete
  20. I was just watching a show over the weekend where a beautiful fig salad was being made; it looked a lot like yours! I never realized how good fresh figs were until recently. I can almost taste this. It looks great and I'm betting it tastes even better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Monica, I really enjoyed this salad!

      Delete
  21. Sadly, I haven't seen many fresh figs here this year. Those I have seen were not very good. I would love to make a salad just like this and will save it for a better fig year :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Susan, figs were hard to find here this year as well, so when I finally found them I could not believe my luck.

      Delete
  22. I LOVE figs and can't wait for ours to be ripe, well that is if I can fight the birds for them.
    I am salivating at the thought of this magnificent salad!
    Have a wonderful day Cheri.
    :-) Mandy xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mandy, oh I am so jealous, you have your own fig tree, how wonderful!

      Delete
  23. OH MY!!! Love this recipe. Will be visiting grandchildren in Seattle for two weeks and will take this recipe with me. Hopefully, I will find some fresh figs. This recipe, along with others you've provided has peaked my interest!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sandra, 2 weeks, how wonderful. We have the boys this week-end. Looking forward to it. Let me know if you get your hands on any. Have not tried the savory cookie recipe yet, maybe sometime this week.......

      Delete
  24. This salad looks delicious. Figs very rarely make their way out to where I live, but when they do I scoop up all I can and go crazy with them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cher, I only had one chance this year to pick some up, they were pretty scarce.

      Delete
  25. I love fresh figs too. What a pretty looking salad. I love how refreshing this looks and the Chinese 5 spice powder must give this salad great flavour xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Charlie, the five-spice was a nice touch.

      Delete
  26. This looks so pleasant and light. I <3 figs

    ReplyDelete
  27. Loving this salad. Figs are one of those can't-get-enough, put-them-in-everything foods. Plus, they're so pretty!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sarah, they are one of my favorites too!

      Delete
  28. Your figs do look perfectly ripe. I could eat this salad everyday. Spiced cashews would be great all by themselves!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tricia, I did make a second batch of the nuts they were delicious!

      Delete
  29. Heavenly. I adore fresh figs. I will definitely be trying this when the crop on my neighbour's tree is ready for picking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi sue, oh you are so lucky to have a neighbor with a tree!

      Delete
  30. I love figs in every way, and, somehow, I missed this Rx in Food & Wine! Thanks for brining it to my attention! Did you notice the tuna pâté? Oh my, is it good! That will be on C&L soon...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David, did not notice the tuna, can't wait.

      Delete
  31. This definitely reminds me of making a brittle. I can't eat nuts except pine nuts, so I think I'll make this using the pine nuts. I make a pine nut brittle every year around the holidays with rosemary, and this looks fabulous with the 5-spice. And the dressing looks perfect!!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Yum, yum, yum. I love everything about this dish. I adore figs, and those spiced cashews sound amazing. I can't wait to give this a try.

    Thanks so much for sharing your salad at Couscous & Consciousness Salad Days
    http://couscous-consciousness.blogspot.co.nz/2015/02/tandoori-mushroom-salad-with-spinach.html

    ReplyDelete