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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Spicy Salad...Hold the Lettuce

It's Tuesday my wonderful readers! Woot woot. One day closer to the weekend (and my birthday...*ahem.). Tonight I made one of my favorite spicy salads - but also one of my unorthodox. This bad boy has no leafy greens, just jalapenos, figs (love figs of all kinds!), and cheese (among other deliciousness). Without further adieu, check this out!

Fresh Fig Salad with Feta and Blistered Jalapenos
Tim Byres, Food & Wine

  • 1 ancho chile, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 12 dried Black Mission figs, halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 fresh large Black Mission figs, halved lengthwise
  • 4 shallots, cut through the root into 1/4-inch wedges
  • 4 jalapeños, seeded and julienned
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)  ***Save calories and use Trader Joe's Fat Free Feta!
  • Cilantro leaves, crushed pink peppercorns and lime wedges, for serving
  1. In a medium saucepan, toast the ancho chile over moderate heat, turning, until fragrant and charred in spots, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
  2. Add the wine, dried figs, dark brown sugar and 1/4 cup of water to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat until the chile and figs are tender, 20 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and let cool slightly. Pulse until a chunky puree forms. Scrape the jam into a bowl.
  3. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Set a mesh or perforated pan on the grill. Spread the granulated sugar in a pie plate. Dip the cut sides of the fresh figs in the sugar and grill over high heat, until caramelized on 1 side only but still firm, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the figs to a plate.
  4. In a bowl, toss the shallots and jalapeños with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the vegetables to the mesh or perforated pan and grill over high heat, tossing, until lightly charred and softened, 6 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a plate.
  5. Spoon 1 or 2 tablespoons of the fig jam onto plates and arrange the shallots, jalapeños, caramelized figs and crumbled feta around it. Garnish the salad with cilantro leaves and crushed pink peppercorns and serve with lime wedges.
The chunky fig jam can be refrigerated for 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Lizzy Bee's Note: The fig jam is great on chicken too! 
  • I made a really easy pan seared salmon - a little salt/pepper, good olive oil, and flesh side down 5 min. Flip for 3 more minutes. 
  • I also made easy zucchini and onions - saute onions 10 minutes; add zucchini for 10 more with salt and pepper.

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