I’ve combined the sweetness of fresh figs with rich smoked chicken, tangy goats cheese and earthy walnuts. That’s a powerful combination of flavours, so to balance it out there’s a lovely canvas of crunchy green beans, peppery rocket, and a sharp-sweet dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar with a dash of citrus.
It’s fig season! This time of the year always fills me with great joy. I can’t get enough of these gorgeous, soft-skinned, plump and voluptuous fruits, bursting with juicy seeds and sticky-sweet perfume. Figs are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful ingredients in existence, and one of the most versatile.
While you can’t beat figs as a sweet treat, I quite like to introduce them to savoury recipes, where their fresh sweetness forms a pleasant contrast to richer ingredients, and their beautiful pink colour adds drama. They’re particularly good in salads, especially where cheese is involved; blue cheese, goats cheese and mozzarella all work well.
It’s fresh but indulgent at the same time, and the best thing about this salad is the gorgeous array of colours; deep green, creamy white, nutty brown, and ripe, rich, vibrant pink. A perfect dish to wake up the taste buds as autumn creeps slowly and inexorably towards us.
here's what you'll need...
- 100g green beans, trimmed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- A squeeze of lemon or lime juice
- Salt and pepper
- 100g rocket
- 1 smoked chicken breast
- 6 fresh figs
- 100g soft goats cheese
- 50g walnuts