Don't go telling me figs aren't sexy because I'm just not buying it. I'm not talking aphrodisiac-sexy (necessarily), I'm talking sexy from a purely visual, visceral point of view. I mean, do you see what's going on up there? I feel like I interrupted something.
I've tried working with figs and heat together: broiling them, grilling them, wrapping them with bacon -- and it's all good, but cooking them seems to accentuate their soft texture, and I prefer mine just a little on the firmer side. Here's what I suggest: take a big bowl, throw in some pungent greens, a little mint, a fistful of walnuts and your favorite cheese. Now halve a few swollen figs and dice the rest. There, that's right. Drizzle on some sticky balsamic, slick with a little walnut oil. Toss, slowly. Gently.
Is it warm in here?
This salad takes, I don't know, 6 minutes to make. And that includes toasting the nuts. Serve it to someone you love, or simply like very, very much.
1 bunch watercress, cleaned, stem-ends discarded (mostly), leaves (and a small bit of stem) rough-chopped
7 leaves fresh mint, slivered
6 fresh figs, halved and/or diced
1/4 cup diced cheese of your choice (I used a goat brie, but try chevre, feta, or blue)
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 teaspoon good, thick balsamic vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons walnut oil (or olive oil, if you must)
Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium salad bowl. Drizzle with vinegar and oil, and sprinkle with coarse salt. Serve quickly.