Summer has come and gone but I haven’t completely let go of salads. Although I love vegetables, I’ve always preferred the easy comfort of the roasted kind, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with coarse salt, and– sometimes– a squeeze of lemon. With Thanksgiving around the corner, I will be sure to have my fill of them, but for now I’m gorging on field greens with bleu cheese, fig, and candied pecans.
I’ve never been one to think outside the box when it comes to salad, but I’m discovering fall is the perfect time to assemble salads with the bounty of the autumn harvest–succulent figs, crunchy apples, a variety of squash–even sweet potatoes.
I first concocted this salad when I was short on time and looking for a way to use up some fresh figs that were in immediate danger of moldering away in my refrigerator. Sharp bleu cheese contrasts beautifully with the figs and the pecans add a bit of extra crunch and sweetness. Toss with your favorite vinaigrette type of dressing. Some olive oil, lemon juice, and just a pinch of sugar also does the trick.
Field Greens with Fig, Bleu Cheese, and Candied Pecans
4 cups field greens
3 fresh figs, cut into quarters
2 ounces bleu cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons dried blueberries or blueberry-flavored cranberries
candied pecans (recipe below)
balsamic glaze or honey (optional)
Toss field greens with dressing. Transfer to plates. Sprinkle with bleu cheese, dried blueberries, and pecans. Top with figs drizzled with balsamic glaze or honey, if using. Serve immediately.
For candied pecans:
Combine 1/4 cup pecan halves or pieces in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of water. Simmer over stove until sugar turns crunchy, not sticky, about 10 minutes. Be careful not to let the nuts burn. Turn them out onto a piece of parchment paper and let them cool completely. Separate with a fork. The pecans can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a month.