29 April 2013

Fresh Figs with Manchego & Honey, from Ottolenghi The Cookbook IHCC




“To eat figs off the tree in the very early morning, when they have been barely touched by the sun, is one of the exquisite pleasures of the Mediterranean.” 

Elizabeth David, An Omelette & a Glass of Wine


Figs do look so exotic, they lure you in, succulent & sweet. Good friends with cured meats to deliver a little salty & sweet or alongside some mascarpone or creme fraiche for a fresh dessert or perhaps the piece de resistance next to little blue cheese to finish off a meal with a good glass of red.  However I have always found them to be little bit of a let down, that is until this weekend.




I have just returned from 4 days in the Hawke’s Bay to celebrate a dear, dear friends birthday & what a wonderful few days it was, more on that later.  Suffice to say laughter, wine & good food all featured, not to mention glorious sunshine & some spectacular NZ scenery.




Lunch on Saturday was at Ten24 & it was perfect.  An idyllic few hours with exciting & exceptional food, delectable wines & great company.  If you are in the Hawke’s Bay you must check it out as Kent Baddley is dishing up some quite wonderful food.



And to start a little trio of amuse bouche.  In the middle snails on tapenade, by a country mile the best snails I have ever eaten & on the right a creamy white beetroot soup, the rosemary adding just the right amount of piney herbness.  It was that little bright pink fig on the left that converted me to the wonders of the fig.  Just look at it?  It was sweet & fresh & finally I met a fig that delivered on all expectations.




So that brings me nicely to this salad for this week’s pot luck Ottolenghi at IHCCs.  Again a handful of ingredients come to together in the tastiest way.

Fresh Figs with Manchego & Honey, adapted from Ottolenghi the Cookbook

Quite perfect on it's own or along side some grilled chicken. Ottolenghi makes it with young pecorino but I had manchego to hand. Blue cheese would also work a treat & I am thinking maybe a few toasted walnuts wouldn’t go a miss.

Ingredients

3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil
2 tbsp Honey
Lemon juice
Salt & pepper
Rocket
Basil
Ripe green or black figs
Manchego



Directions

For the dressing whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice & honey. Season to taste. Scatter the rockets & basil leaves over a platter. Cut the figs in to quarters & place over the top.  Shave over some shards of manchego & drizzle over the dressing.  Add a little more pepper & serve immediately.




These figs weren’t perfection, but I am a convert & against the peppery rocket, the sweet honey & the manchego it was a tasty salad.

This is this week’s Ottolenghi for IHCC.




If you like this you might like these...
Chicken with Za'atar Sumac & Pine Nuts
Asparagus Mimosa
Enjoy!

15 comments:

  1. I've just nipped out to check there are still figs on my tree and there are. Phew - can't wait to try this out. Glad you had a wonderful weekend in Hawkes Bay - I love it there.

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    1. It was gorgeous! And this you can throw together in minutes! Hope you had a wonderful Birthday too! xx

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  2. I really need to find some figs! Figs are not easily available over here! I have seen some gorgeous figs recipes and this is one of them! I love the mixture of lemon juice and honey, and sounds delicious with the figs.
    Hawke's Bay looks like a beautiful place to relax with family and friends!
    Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks! Hawke's Bay is stunning...it's our fruit basket! The fig from there was delectable! You have a great wee too!

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  3. It sounds like a wonderful mini-vacation. ;-) This salad looks fabulous--I love all of the ingredients. The next time I find fresh figs here I am definitely making it!

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    1. It was an idyllic weekend Deb....good friends & good times :) Again I love how a few simple ingredients come together to make something wonderful :)

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  5. Beautiful salad, Mairi - totally the kind of salad that I adore. It's not always easy to get figs that are exceptional, but I've found that grilling them enhances even a mediocre fig. I love figs and rocket together, and now I'm dying to try adding some manchego cheese - I'm thinking some roasted hazelnuts would be great too. So glad you had a great weekend away xo

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    1. Oh grilled...yes I think that could make this salad better too :) That & some blue cheese!

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  6. After eating exceptionally sweet and juicy figs straight off the tree in Italy I have never had one fig that was anywhere near a match. Good to hear there are some tasty ones around...I shall keep looking and trying.

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    1. I know! I think the one in the Hawke's Bay was a different variety, bright jewel like pink & so wonderfully sweet :)

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  7. Quite a lovely salad, Mairi! I love the quote from Elizabeth David...someday, I hope! I'm happy you enjoyed such a nice get away, too.

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    1. I know I would love to have a fig tree :) And yes it was a wonderful getaway :)

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  8. What a beautiful post! I love the second to last shot with the plate of pretty figs. There is just something special about them. I bet this is a delicious salad. I think manchego is one of my favorite cheeses.

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    1. Thanks Kim :) Manchego is so good right? I especially love it with some quince paste :)

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