Fig, Walnut and Parmesan Salad
Let’s face it - salads aren't usually the most exciting dish on the dinner table, but this salad is truly a showstopper in and of itself! Greens, figs, walnuts and parmesan all mixed together with a sweet balsamic vinaigrette, this salad will most definitely take center stage at your next summer barbecue or dinner with friends.
Here’s what you need:
Greens: A few handfuls of your favorite greens is all you need to start this salad off. Our go-to is usually a salad mix, but feel free to choose arugula, spinach, kale, or whatever's in season near you!
Dried Figs: Dried figs are an excellent addition to salads, baking or even meat dishes like pork or lamb. In our opinion, they are one of the most underrated foods out there! In salads, they provide a lovely concentrated sweetness and chewy texture which plays really well with the crunchiness of the greens and walnuts. See below for more information about where to find dried figs and some of the health benefits of eating them regularly.
Walnuts: Any good salad isn’t complete without walnuts! We love them for their distinct flavour, heart-healthy benefits and their oh-so-good crunchiness that makes them the perfect addition to salads, fruit bowls and vegetable dishes. We recommend that for this recipe you choose lightly toasted walnuts; however, if you only have raw at home, not to worry! It only takes a few minutes to lightly toast them on the stovetop over medium heat. See below for a step-by-step guide to toasting your own walnuts.
Parmesan: Parmesan adds an intensity and saltiness to the salad and pairs really well with the dried figs. We recommend using freshly shaved parmesan, but if it’s easy for you store-bought shaved parmesan will also do the trick!
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing: This dressing has the perfect balance of tang and sweetness. Even better yet, it’s only 3 ingredients: olive oil, honey and balsamic vinegar! It’s a light and refreshing dressing that’s perfect for summer. You can even double or triple the batch and store it for future use.
How to Toast Walnuts
Need toasted walnuts, but only have raw at home? Not to worry, toasting walnuts is so simple! Just two ingredients: walnuts and oil and 5 minutes on the stove will enhance the flavour and add an extra crunch. Not to mention filling your kitchen with a delicious nutty aroma that will make them absolutely irresistible!
What You Need:
- 1 cup walnuts, raw
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Toss 1 cup of walnuts in oil and salt if desired. In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat walnuts until browned and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 2 to 5 minutes.
- Remove from skillet and chop or use as desired. Or, store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
All About Dried Figs
If you’re new to using dried figs, don’t worry, we’ve got your back! They can be enjoyed as a delicious snack or prepared in both savory and sweet dishes. Although not super common in North American cuisine, they are gaining popularity and being touted for their health benefits and culinary versatility.
There’s a big difference between cheap, low-quality dried figs and high-quality dried figs. Poor quality figs tend to be bland and mushy, while high-quality sun-dried figs are fruity and sweet with an almost caramel-like taste.
If you love dried figs, then finding high-quality dried figs is a must. Here are a few places that you can find high-quality dried figs in Canada
Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market is definitely a more premium-end supermarket, so their products tend to be on the more costly side. That being said, sometimes you get what you pay for, and when it comes to dried figs, you can pretty much guarantee that Whole Foods will have sourced some of the best. If you also like your dried fruit to be organic, Whole Foods will likely stock a selection of organic options. While it may not be affordable to stop by Whole Foods Market regularly, if you’ve got a craving for dried figs, then they’re a good place to go.
We hate to admit it, but Amazon has become a great place to find high-quality pantry ingredients. In recent years, Amazon has become the one-stop online shop for virtually anything, including dried fruits. If you’re going to buy dried figs from Amazon, then pay close attention to the product descriptions and make sure that you look for verified customer reviews. For every high-quality pack of dried figs on Amazon, you bet there’s going to be a poor quality pack on there too, but if you do your research and know that you can trust their suppliers, then Amazon is a great place to shop.
Ayoub’s Dried Fruit and Nuts
Of course, we couldn’t list the best places to buy dried figs without mentioning ourselves at Ayoub’s. If you're looking for delicious sun-dried figs, then look no further. We stock a wide selection of figs graded at the highest quality, including Turkish figs, Black Mission figs, and our fig assortment. Our figs are sun-dried for maximum flavor, and they never have anything added to them because they don’t need it! Whether you want 1lb of dried figs or 3lb, we’ve got you covered and can even accommodate larger bulk orders. Wherever you live in Canada or even the United States, our dried figs are available to buy online, so you can sit back and relax knowing that the best dried figs are going to be delivered straight to your door. If you’re more of an in-person shopper, then we’d love to welcome you into one of our Ayoub’s stores, where you’ll find our full range of delicious hand-roasted nuts and dried fruit.
Although we may be biased, we have to say that we’re confident that we have some of the very best dried figs in the whole of Canada. But wherever you choose to buy your dried figs from, we hope you enjoy them!
This Fig, Walnut and Parmesan Salad is the one and only salad you will need this summer!
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp runny honey
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 or 5 handfuls of mixed salad greens
1/2 cup dried figs
1 cup toasted walnuts, sliced
a handful of shaved parmesan
salt and freshly ground pepper, for serving
For the Dressing
For the Salad
To make the dressing mix the oil, honey and vinegar well.
Place the salad on to a large bowl. Sprinkle over the figs, walnuts, parmesan, salt and pepper.
Just before serving pour over the dressing and serve.
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