Monday, August 12, 2013

Fig, Beet and Watermelon Salad with Caramelized Shallot Dressing


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.

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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
Olive Oil
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

In a medium skillet add the olive oil and shallots.  Cook on medium heat until caramelized for about 5 to 7 minutes.  Watch carefully so they do not burn.  Let cool.  Add all the ingredients to a jar with a tight fitting lid, then shake for a minutes.


11 comments:

  1. My love for figs have definitely grown as of recently. This salad definitely sounds awesome, great recipe!

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

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  2. I love that you have your trips to the farmer's market down to a science. :D

    This salad truly is a gorgeous masterpiece - gorgeous colours, interesting textures and I'm sure, amazing flavours!

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  3. Beautiful salad, Lisa! Love the colors, textures and that dressing sounds wonderful!

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  4. I can't wait to try that dressing! I just picked a bunch of shallots from the garden, and need uses for them!

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  5. Delicious salad and I will be trying this one. Have you grilled Figs? Cut them in half and grill just until the sugars carmelize. I do it on a grill pan on the stove. YUMMY!!! Thank you for sharing...

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  6. Another winner. Your fig talent knows no bounds. Would not have thought to put figs, beets and watermelon together but I trust your taste buds and now I want this salad. The dressing sounds amazing! :)

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  7. Yay! I'm excited to see that someone else likes figs with watermelon, and I look forward to having them with cheese!
    I tried them together in a smoothie - 1/2 frozen watermelon balls, 1/2 fresh figs, coconut milk to preferred thickness.

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  8. Rebecca, that smoothie sounds divine!!

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  9. How do I make the dressing please!

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It simply makes me smile when I receive a new comment and I look forward to hearing from you!