This summer we have sweltered our way through record-breaking heatwaves, with more than a dozen days over 40°C, some climbing to a searing 45°C. All through the heat we wished for rain, but we must have wished too hard because when the rain came, it didn’t stop. Widespread flooding ensued, breaking even more records. If these extremes of weather don’t make us realise our fragile dependance on our beautiful planet, I don’t know what will.
It’s a hard job keeping produce looking fabulous with weather like we’ve had, and when I was at the farmer’s market last week, I got chatting about this to the producer of a fantastic range of dried and fresh figs. The fresh figs he had on offer didn’t catch my eye at first glance, being soft and a little bruised from the heavy rain, but when he offered me a taste I was sold. Sweet and jammy, with caramel undertones, these figs quickly made their way into my basket. A little further along I found some Lemon Myrtle Chèvre and this simple but delicious salad was born. I hope you enjoy!
100 g mixed salad leaves
3-5 ripe figs, depending on size, at room temperature
6-8 strawberries, at room temperature
100 g lemon myrtle chèvre*
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp raspberry vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
Freshly ground black pepper
Wash the salad leaves and remove excess water using a salad spinner or clean tea towel. Lay out on a serving dish.
Cut the figs in half lengthways, then cut into bite sized wedges. Arrange over the leaves.
Hull and halve the strawberries (or quarter, depending on size), and scatter over the figs and leaves.
Gently break up the chèvre with your fingers and crumble over the salad.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, raspberry vinegar, maple syrup and pepper. Drizzle over the salad and serve immediately.
* If you can’t get hold of lemon myrtle chèvre, you can substitute plain chèvre, or even a soft feta.