It's fig season: Fingerling potato, fig and tarragan salad

Reply Tue 7 Sep, 2010 08:57 am
Adapted by BumbleBeeBoogie from "In the Hands of a Chef"

In the San Francisco Bay Area, there are several wonderful greengrocers with an outstanding variety of produce of the highest quality. Among my favorites are several varieties of fingerling potatoes ranging from the purple to gold and white. They have a firm, waxy texture that holds up well in this salad. Another thing I like about this salad is the ingredients can be made the day before serving without loss of texture, and combined with the vinaigrette when ready to serve. An advantage when you are having a dinner party or taking the salad on a picnic or to a friend's home.

I like to explore the wide variety of figs and olives from around the world that are also available. My two favorite places to shop in Berkeley are the Monterey Market and the Berkeley Bowl Market. They are greengrocer heaven!

This recipe makes 4 servings. This salad is great served with grilled fish or chicken, accompanied by steamed Jasmine rice, and good sourdough bread dipped in extra virgin olive oil.

1-1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and cut lengthwise in half (if fingerlings are not available, substitute small new potatoes)
6 bay leaves, fresh
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 celery stalk, peeled and chopped into ¼-inch dice
*12 dried figs (preferably Turkish), stemmed & cut lengthwise into quarters
1 small red onion, peeled and chopped into ¼-inch dice
2 tablespoons fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
¼ cup pitted green olives, chopped (If you have an olive bar in your favorite gourmet shop, experiment with different olives from around the world.)

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover them with cold water. Add the whole bay leaves, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover the pan and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook about 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the potatoes to cool in the water. Drain and discard the bay leaves. If you are making the salad ahead of serving, transfer the potatoes to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble the salad.

Prepare the remaining ingredients (except those for the mustard, vinegar and oil vinaigrette) in a covered bowl and refrigerate until ready to assemble the salad.)

In a small bowl, whisk the mustard and red wine vinegar together to form an emulsion. Continue whisking while slowly adding the olive oil in a then, steady stream. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper. You may also use your electric food processor to make the vinaigrette. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to assemble the salad.

Just before serving, combine the potatoes (at room temperature), celery, figs, red onion, parsley, tarragon, and olives in a large bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to thoroughly coat. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

*NOTE: If fresh figs are in season, you may want to use them instead of dried figs. I like the flavor and texture of the fresh figs even more than the dried.
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Reply Tue 7 Sep, 2010 10:04 am
Wow! As soon as I saw the headline for this thread, I knew I had to make this salad. Will pass it on to my fig loving daughter as well.
Reply Tue 7 Sep, 2010 10:11 am
I used to hike through a field along the San Francisco Bay that had several fig trees. When fig season came, we able to bring home bags of the best figs I ever tasted. That why I look for recipes to use them.

Glad you liked the recipe. Enjoy! I didn't know if A2Kers were be interested in my interest in unusual recipes.

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