Fall is definitely here now. There's a nice crispness in the morning air again. If we want to eat dinner on our balcony, we have to get out there pretty early. Jackets are starting to come out. Then it will be coats, hats, gloves. You know the drill.
But for now we have fall and with it comes fresh figs. Available year-round in their dried form, there's something much more satisfying about the fleshy sweet fresh kind.
To contrast their sweetness, I paired the figs with floral, peppering watercress; crisp, sharp radishes and some toasted walnuts. A simple balsamic vinaigrette pulls it all together.
Watercress and Fig Autumn Salad
Makes 2 dinner portions
1/3 cup walnut pieces
3 oz. watercress leaves, large clumps torn apart
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and cut julienne
1 oz. prosciutto, cut into narrow strips
3 oz. goat cheese, cut into cubes
2-3 tbsp. chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
2 tsp. good-quality balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
6 fresh figs, quartered
1. Heat a small frying pan over medium-low heat. Toast walnuts until fragrant, about 7-8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. In a large bowl, combine watercress, radishes, carrot, prosciutto, goat cheese and parsley. Whisk together balsamic vinegar and mustard, then whisk in the olive oil. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Serve in shallow bowls topped with fresh figs.