Why Rocket, Fig and Cheddar Salad?
In late summer as autumn approaches figs are one of the first ingredients I think of. Deep purple skinned figs with pink jewelled flesh lay gently on beds of tissue paper in my local fruit shop, making them too hard for me to resist.
Figs are a unique fruit that while delicate in flavour, transform into a robust ingredient when matched correctly with other ingredients. Apart from eating them whole, this salad is one of my favourite ways of enjoying the unique flavours of figs.
My twist on a classic flavour combination of bitter rocket leaves, pungently sweet and floral figs and sharp crumbly Parmesan is the reason I initially fell in love with this fruit. In my version I use a good quality English style cheddar that is sharp yet creamy as I find the cheese helps bring out the subtle floral sweetness of the figs, while the rocket balances their earthiness.
Enjoy this salad when figs are at their finest from March onwards (based on Australian seasons).
5 ripe figs, such as black Genoa or brown Turkey
150 g rocket, washed
30g mature cheddar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar
Cut fig into quarters removing the stem. In a large bowl place the rocket, figs and crumble over the cheddar.
To serve, drizzle with E.V.O.O and balsamic vinegar and season with plenty of salt and pepper.