I feel very happy that some fruits and vegetables do not grow in Finland. This way, we can enjoy them all year round, importing from other parts of the world! Take figs for example. At the moment, we have Brazilian figs in the stores. In late summer, early autumn there are Turkish figs and sometimes Israeli figs. Yes, we cover the whole world of figs!
2 weeks ago I organised yet another brunch session in Helsinki. This was the fifth brunch that I organised in 2016, and it was, as usual, in Hietsun Paviljonki. This time I collaborated with Essi Nousu of “Elämä on Jooga” and the brunch started, for some of the guests, with a refreshing wake-up yoga. Then these guests, together with some more, continued having the brunch and the menu consisted of Mediterranean tastes, with a soup and different kinds of mezzes and spreads. This fig salad was among the dishes I served in that brunch and it was the first one to finish too!
What I like a lot about this salad is a combination of tastes; there is sweet, there is salty, sour, and there are different kinds of textures. I adapted the recipe from a book I bought a few months ago called “Anatolia: Adventures in Turkish Cooking”. The original recipe only uses rucola as the green and goat’s feta as the cheese. I love mâche a lot, that’s why I decided to divide green side of the salad between rucola and mâche. You can find mâche, which is “vuonankaali” in Finnish, in Stockmann and sometimes in K-market Kamppi and big Lidl stores.
I also replaced goat’s feta with cantal cheese. The two cheese types are very different than each other, but nowadays I am obsessed with cantal, so I just had to use it in this recipe. I did not use cheese and hazelnuts in the version that I made for brunch though. There are many people with nut allergies. And I wanted to keep it vegan, that’s why I left the cheese out. Therefore, if you do not like / are allergic / are vegan, you can make the salad perfectly without those ingredients. Enjoy your fast and furious recipe!
Difficulty: ★☆☆ (Easy)
75 gr. rucola
75 gr. mâche (vuonankaali in Finnish)
300 gr. / around 6-7 figs
75 gr. roasted hazelnuts*, coarsely crushed
50 gr. cantal cheese, crumbled (you can use a different type of cheese if you don’t like or can’t find cantal cheese)(In Helsinki, you can find cantal cheese in Stockmann)
*To roast the hazelnuts, preheat the oven to 200C, put hazelnuts on an oven tray with baking paper on and keep them in the oven for about 10 minutes, constantly checking not to burn them but to keep them browned.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp grape molasses
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp lemon juice
1. Wash and chop rucola and mâche (you can also just tear the leaves by hand). Wash figs well, remove the stem and cut each fig in 6-8 pieces. Put them all in a salad bowl.
2. Add hazelnuts and cheese and mix them all.
3. For dressing: put all the ingredients for dressing in a small bowl and mix / whisk them well (I have a cute, mini whisk for this kind of things as you can see in the photo!).
4. Pour the dressing into the salad, mix and serve; eat it plain or accompany with a thin slice of fresh bread. Enjoy!