Roasted Fig, Asparagus, Butternut and Fillet Salad for Saturday Lunch!
March 12, 2010 in Uncategorized
This i s one of those meal-on-a-plate recipes that i am tremendously fond of. This salad is measure by the square meter! I prepare it on my largest platter, plonk it in the middle of the table with only grissini and crusty hot ciabatta to mop up the juices with. With summer slowly ebbing into autumn, Durban has turned the corner, all be it one month early this year, the mornings have a little crispy edge on them already. Mrs Sun has moved in the sky and the light has changed too. Yes, it’s still very hot, but this beautiful weather is what we Durban-ites wait all year for. Throughout summer, as we battle the torrents of “sweat”, bravely keeping our heads barely above water – we count the months if not weeks until we see the end of that dreaded and feared F – Month ! In March we emerge like little social butterflies from our summer cocoon into - smiling and relieved Durban-ites smug in the knowledge that April and May are the champagne months of good ol’ Durbs.
Suddenly, we can actually enjoy the joys of Al Fresco dining – groups of friends gather, still able to walk at the end of a “sweatless” day! You actually have enough energy left to socialise, congregate and communicate. Wine flows and board games come out of the cupboard, get dusted off and ready for action! This is Monopoly time, this is Backgammon time, this is 30 Seconds time and along with any form of board game comes lots of drinking, laughing and fooling around. Hence, the wall to wall food – that’s communal and easy to prepare.
1 small butternut diced into 1,5cm cubes
3 crushed garlic cloves
salt & pepper
sugar and cinammon
Figs – as many as you like
a few small sprigs of fresh rosemary
balsamic vinegar reduction
salt and pepper
Take about 1inch off the ends of the nice thick asparagus
and gently poach in a little salted water
when they are tender – remove and using the same pan – toss them in a little
garlic butter salt and pepper
2 ripe avocado pears
1 fillet at room temperature or 4 rib-eye beef steaks also at room temperature
the juice of 2 lemons
Roast the butternut in olive oil and a few knobs of butter with rosemary, a few crushed cloves of garlic,
salt, pepper, cinamon and sugar until nicely soft and caramelised. Drain any excess oil.
Figs – cut off the stalk and make a cross on the top of each fig and squeeze them a little
to open the fig up – push a small sprig of rosemary into the centre, drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar reduction
and honey, season with salt and pepper. Roast in a moderate 180 degree oven for 5 minutes.
Cut the fillet or rib-eye into nice thick steaks and rub them in
black pepper – or mixed pepper corns if you have
heat a griddle pan and cook the meat as you like it – for me – rare!!! yum yum
Remove them from the pan and place on a plate – salt them and let
them rest losely covered with some tin foil
you are going to pour the meat juices over your salad so don’t
throw them away !!!
Arrange the butter lettuce and rocket leaves to cover the entire platter
sprinkle over the roast butternut nuggets
dot the platter with the nice juicy dark burgundy figs
artistically arrange the poached asparagus
rip over the basil leaves
then slice the meat into goujons or thick slices of juicy meat and put
on the platter
Season the whole platter with a little black pepper and salt
a drizzle of olive oil
squeeze over the juice of the two lemons
using a potato peeler – cover the whole bang shoot with shavings of
(You could add some goats milk cheese or some roasted – peppers or brinjals
to this salad if you like – nothing is cast in stone – a sprinkle of toasted almonds
would be fab !!! Have fun!)
Serve with grissini and hot crusty bread such as ciabbata!