A trip this weekend to the farmers market proved to be fruitful once again. If you remember, I made a Farmer’sMarket Salad with Honey Lime Dressing about a week ago. It was simply divine and this week I have another delightful summer salad to share. Okay, if you know me or have been follow Authentic Suburban Gourmet for sometime, you know I have a slight obsession with figs. I never really had them as a kid, except for the good ole fig
Newton. My affinity with these perfect little gems
spans from my making my Balsamic Fig Jam to strategically placing on a Proscuitto and Fig Pizza. The vivid colors of this
salad scream fresh and tasty.
A great salad can be a masterpiece, perhaps even your own Mona Lisa of sorts. The possibilities are endless. Often when I head to the farmers market I will browse the vendors to observe the seasonal offerings. The simple clue is when 2 or 3 vendors are carrying the same items, and then you wrap back around and choose the vendor with the freshest produce. Summer time is particularly bountiful with heirloom tomatoes, berries of all sorts, stone fruit galore, colorful peppers and sweet corn.
I do have my favorite vendors but always open to exploring new ones. It is great to ask questions about where they have their farm, the history and if they have any specialties. Often they will share tips on how to prepare and/or simple recipes that you can try at home. I enjoy learning and asking questions, that is how you become an expert and continue to expand your repertoire.
As I mentioned earlier, I have a fondness for figs. Oh and beets too. Big smile. Hubby and I enjoy a roasted beet salad. Thought I would mix it up a bit and throw in the figs and watermelon. With the earthy beets and sweet figs and watermelon, it needed something smoky yet sweet and tangy to balance all of the flavors. Thus my caramelized shallot dressing came into being. The gorgonzola cheese simply added that extra punch to round out the delicious flavors. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Fig, Beet and Watermelon Salad with Caramelized Shallot Dressing
4 Medium Red Beets
4 Medium Golden Beets
2 Cups Watermelon, one inch cubes with seeds removed
10 Figs, cut off stem and slice in half lengthwise
2/3 Cup Gorgonzola Cheese, crumbled
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Trim the ends slightly on each beet. Lay on a cookie sheet with a one inch edge. Drizzle with olive oil and rub over each beet. Cook in oven until beets are tender. You can check with a sharp knife and if it enters easily, the beet is done cooking. Allow about 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool, remove the skin with a sharp knife and cut into one inch cubes. Set aside.
To assemble, add the beets, watermelon and figs to a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss gently. Sprinkle with gorgonzola cheese on top. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
Caramelized Shallot Dressing
2 large Shallots, peeled and sliced thin
Olive oil for sauté
¼ Cup Olive oil
2 Tablespoon White Balsamic Vinegar
¼ teaspoon Salt
8 grinds Pepper