Today I am so excited to show you the new redesign of BAKE, and to share with you one of my favourite autumnal salads packed with delicious fig and goats cheese. This redesign has been a long time coming, and there were definitely moments when I questioned my sanity over not hiring someone else to do it for me. Particularly the dark moment where I convinced myself that I had taken down the whole internet after installing a plugin – my penchant for overreaction is multiplied by being home alone. I am not entirely sure I will ever get my head around SEO and you will have to forgive me whilst I finish up a few bits, but I just couldn’t wait to share the new improved site with you! A few new features include simpler to navigate recipe categories and indexes, easier access to my vegetarian and vegan content and links to some of my favourite blogs to go to for inspiration.
On the topic of inspiration, I cannot get enough of the beautiful deep purple figs that have just come into season. They crop up on my instagram feed nearly every day, and with good reason. Not only are they so pretty and absolutely delicious, they are also high in potassium which among other things helps to lower blood pressure. Stepping away from my normal culinary reaction to fruit, which would be to bake it into a crumble or sandwich it between two sponges, I decided to make a Mediterranean style salad with the glut of fruit I bought from my corner shop.
Cookies and Kate wrote that when she planned salads she liked them to ‘have something crunchy, sweet, salty, creamy and citrusy’. That idea has stuck with me all summer, sweet, savoury, tart, bitter, creamy, chewy, crunchy, salty. The best salads are perfect balance between flavours and textures. I have experimented a few times throughout the warmer months with this idea, with abundance bowls, panzanella and massaged kale salads, but this fig and goats cheese salad is the best yet (even if I do say so myself).
The combination of figs, goats cheese and lemon takes me back to sitting in the dry warm air looking out over the crystal clear waters of southern Greece. The tart acidity of the citrus cuts through the richness of the cheese. The slight bitterness of the walnuts heightens the sweetness of the fruit. Whilst this salad would make a fantastic side dish (I can’t wait to whip it out next time I invite people round for dinner) it also makes a brilliant main dish when served with thick chunks of crusty bread. It’s a delicious way to enjoy the some of the best of autumnal produce during this last warm days of the year.
Previously on BAKE
serves 2 recipe by Jennifer Brown
for the dressing:
4 tbsp good quality olive oil
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp honey
pinch of salt and pepper
for the salad:
50 g soft goats cheese
2 ripe figs
2 handfuls of pea shoots (available at Waitrose and some farm shops) or watercress
20g shelled walnuts
- To make the dressing put all the ingredients in a clean jar with a lid and shake until the oil emulsifies (the dressing goes cloudy). If it starts to separate out give another quick shake before serving. If you don’t have a jar you can whisk the dressing in a bowl/jug with a fork.
- To make the salad, cut the figs into eighths, break the goats cheese into small chunks and toss both together with the pea shoots and walnuts. Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving.
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