In Season for February
Delicate and sweetly sensual, the fig is now in season; its arrival is one of the great pleasures of the long hot summer. Figs and grapes are considered to be ancient noble fruits. Most of the varieties grown locally in most gardens including my own, are the common green skinned variety, but there are also purple skinned varieties.
Once ripened the fig is extremely perishable and best consumed straight away or stored at the most for two to three days in the fridge.
Figs make a great salad when teamed with rocket leaves, torn basil and buffalo mozzarella, drizzled with a little aged balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. They also make wonderful accompaniments to many cheeses, poultry, and cured pork. They are also beautiful served as a dessert.
But today I am using the noble fruit in a beautiful salad.
Salad of Fig, Manchego Cheese & Walnuts, served with a Grape Dressing
110 g walnuts lightly roasted
100 g rocket
6 figs torn into chunks
120 g Manchego cheese, shaved
½ tablespoons honey
1½ tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
2 shallots finely chopped
80 ml walnut or olive oil
200 g red or black grapes cut in half
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
For the dressing; whisk the honey, vinegar, chopped shallots and oil in a bowl to combine, then add the grapes and season to taste.
To assemble; toss the figs, rocket and walnuts together, then divide among the plates, and drizzle with the grape dressing, then scatter the Manchego cheese shavings over the top of each salad.
Also in season:
Avocado, bananas, Blackberries, figs, grapes, guavas, kiwifruit, lychees, mangoes, honeydew melons, rock melons, nectarines, oranges, passion fruit, peaches, plums, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, watermelon
Beans, Borlotti beans, butter beans, capsicum, celery, chillies, cucumbers, eggplant, fennel, leeks, lettuce, okra, onions, peas, radishes, squash, sweet corn, tomatoes, zucchini
Herbs & Spices:
Basil, Chervil, Rocket, Tarragon, Young ginger,
Fish & Meat:
Calamari, Sardines, Veal