Janneke Philippi's Roasted Fig Salad With Honey, Thyme Bacon & Roquefort Dressing

While the figs sizzle in the oven, fry some crispy bacon and make a warm cheese dressing

Enjoy this salad with a side of crispy nut bread. Photo / Supplied

I find it hard to resist figs, but I am frequently disappointed: they are rarely well ripened, sweet and juicy. Roasting is the solution to mediocre figs. While the figs sizzle in the oven, I fry some crispy bacon and make a warm cheese dressing.

Mizuna (also known as Japanese mustard lettuce) has a peppery flavour, which works well here, but you can substitute rocket if necessary. In late summer, this salad is often served as a meal on our table, with crispy toasted nut bread on the side.

ROASTED FIG SALAD RECIPE
Serves 4

6 figs
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 red onion
100g smoked bacon
2 thyme sprigs
2 tsp honey
125g creme fraiche
50ml milk
100g Roquefort
75g mizuna or rocket

1. Preheat the oven to 220C. Cut the figs into quarters and place them on a baking tray. Drizzle the figs with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Roast for 10 minutes.

2. Chop the onion and cut the bacon into cubes.

3. Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan. Fry the bacon for 4 minutes until crisp. Pick the thyme leaves and add to the bacon along with the honey. Cook for 1 minute.

4. Warm the creme fraiche and milk in a saucepan over low heat. Crumble in the cheese and stir until smooth and melted.

5. Divide the mizuna or rocket among four plates. Arrange the figs on the salad leaves. Sprinkle with the onion and honey — thyme bacon. Spoon the warm cheese dressing over the salads and sprinkle with pepper to taste.

Recipe extracted from Salad by Janneke Philippi, published by Smith Street Books, distributed by Thames & Hudson Australia, $45.

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