Ottolenghi’s Walnut, Fig and Goat’s Cheese Salad (+Bonus Fig and Proscuitto Pizza)

8 Mar

Everyone seems to love the Ottolenghi cookbook, so when I tried a few recipes from it and my reactions ranged from “it’s okaaay but not worth the effort” to “oh God I’m going to be sick” I figured I had done something wrong and tucked those blog posts away in shame.

I was leafing dejectedly through my Ottolenghi cookbook the other day when I saw a recipe that I knew would be fine – I’ve never met a combination of walnuts, figs and goat’s cheese that I didn’t like!

The salad is supposed to serve 4, but if it’s you are a big eater it will easily serve 2. Also I cheated a bit – I didn’t have mint and parsley so I just used a mix of random salad greens.

I think I cooked the sauce a little too long because it was quite thick at the end – more jammy than dressing-like, which meant that it clumped instead of spreading out nicely over the salad. Oh well, lesson learned!

We had lamb cutlets with the salad. It was a delicious (though somewhat high calorie) meal, and afterwards James made a point to tell me how much he had enjoyed it. =) I think he is trying to encourage me to make it again.

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 125ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 60ml red wine vinegar
  • 50g honey
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Salad

  • 50g walnuts, broken
  • 100g soft goat’s cheese, crumbled
  • 20g mint leaves
  • 25g flat parsley leaves
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 4 fresh figs, halved or quartered

Method

  1. Place all the sauce ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan, stir and put over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until reduced by two thirds. Remove from the heat and keep somewhere warm.
  2. Place the walnuts in a non-stick frying pan and toast over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.
  3. Gently toss together all the salad ingredients, apart from the figs, seasoning with salt and pepper. Make sure the components stay separate and that the cheese doesn’t smear the leaves.
  4. Place the figs on the serving plate and pile the salad next to them. Drill a small amount of sauce over the figs and salad.

Also I had some leftover figs so a couple of days later I made a pita bread pizza with them.

From memory the toppings were olive tapenade, figs, brie and proscuitto, with rosemary sprigs and balsamic vinegar drizzled on afterwards.

Very Rough Nutritional Guide:
1 serve of salad: 690 calories,  62% fat, 9% protein, 29% carbs

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