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Spiced Fig Salad

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For the next meeting of our World Spice Cookbook Club, we’re embracing the warm weather with Salmagundi: A Celebration of Salads from around the World. This recipe for a spiced fig salad, which comes from the book, artfully combines sweet and spicy flavors in a spice-infused honey for predictably delicious results.

fig-salad-web

From the Author: “This is a rather special salad. Actually, figs have the capacity to render pretty much anything special: their appearance is lush for starters – they have but to lie down on a plate or pose in a fruit bowl and they steal the show. They are also feted for their aphrodisiac properties: yup – they are the all-around floozy of the fruit world.”

Harissa Spiced Fig, Merguez, and Almond Salad

Harissa Spiced Fig, Merguez, and Almond Salad

Ingredients

    FOR 2
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • pinch of caraway seeds
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp dried mint
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tsp runny honey
  • 6 fresh figs
  • 6 merguez sausages (or Spanish chorizo)
  • smidge of oil
  • 1/3 cup / 1¼ oz / 35g slivered almonds
  • 1 3/4 oz / 50 g dark green salad leaves
  • handful of frisee (curly endive) lettuce
    FOR THE DRESSING
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp orange flower water
  • ½ tsp harissa paste (optional: it is HOT)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the broiler. Mix the spices, mint, and salt with the honey. Make a cut through each fig from the top to within a few millimeters of the base, followed by another at right angles to the first cut, so that you effectively end up with a cross cut through the top of the fruit.
  2. Pinch the 4 quarters created by the incisions so that the fig opens up like a flower, and divide the spiced honey between the figs. Broil them for around 1½ minutes until the fruit starts to sizzle. Turn the oven off, but leave the figs sitting there to retain their heat.
  3. Slice the merguez on the diagonal into ½ in / 1 cm thick oval slices. Heat a teeny bit of oil in a pan and cook the sausage for around 3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon. Toast the almonds in the same pan for a minute or so until they start to color.
  4. Toss the greens in a bowl. Whisk the ingredients for the dressing together. Arrange the figs on top of the salad, and scatter with merguez and almonds. Drizzle with the dressing and serve with crusty bread.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/spiced-fig-salad/

Salmagundi is the August 2016 selection for the World Spice Cookbook Club. Salmagundi is currently available for purchase at our retail store and online.

Recipe from Salmagundi, © 2014 Sally Butcher, published by Interlink Books. Image from Salmagundi, © 2014 Yuki Sugiura, published by Interlink Books.


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