Flower-scented fig and radicchio salad with vanilla bean vinaigrette

By • November 5, 2012 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: This is my interpretation of an amazing salad I had in Pardes restaurant in Brooklyn this summer. That morning we had gone to the Botanical Garden, and enjoyed a wonderful day. At home, I wanted to offer homage to both, the amazing dinner we ate and the incredible flowers we enjoyed during that same morning. It was just a lovely day that I wanted to recreate in the shape of a dish full of color, flavor, texture, and especially, scent.Alexandra zohn

Serves 4

Salad

  • 1 Head of red radicchio
  • 5 Fresh figs
  • 1/2 cup Blackberries
  • 1 cup Sliced almonds (preferably skins on)
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut nectar (or honey or pure maple syrup)

Dressing

  • 1 teaspoon Dry lavender and chamomille flowers (culinary grade)
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut nectar (or honey or pure maple syrup)
  • 1/2 Vanilla bean
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Roasted walnut oil
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place almonds on prepared sheet and drizzle with coconut nectar. Mix to coat evenly and spread in one layer.
  3. While oven warms up, wash and pat dry radicchio, figs and blackberries. Trim radicchio and place leaves on a serving bowl or plate, quarter figs and place them and the blackberries atop the radicchio.
  4. Roast almonds for about 5-6 minutes (coconut nectar burns fast, so be vigilant!), until golden. Let cool while you prepare dressing.
  5. Grind lavender and chamomile in a clean spice grinder.
  6. Split vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape seeds with the back of a knife. Place them in a small mixing bowl.
  7. Add powdered flowers into the bowl, as well as coconut nectar and lemon juice. Whisk and add walnut oil slowly until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Sprinkled salad with roasted almonds and drizzle in the dressing. Toss to combine and serve.
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