My new year's resolutions have consisted of mostly completing tasks that I failed to pay attention to in the tumult and chaos of the last quarter of 2013. One of the things on my list was the dull but necessary task of installing new blinds in the study. I rang a few places and asked them for quotes. One man had an odd sales pitch.
"I make really good shutters you know, really good ones" he said.
"Umm yes that's great" I answered.
"No, I really do make great shutters" he repeated.
"Okay but could you send me a quote for them please?" I asked for the third time.
"Yes just email me your measurements. But you know, my shutters are really good. I make really good ones" he repeated yet again before hanging up.
I was puzzled by his sales pitch, repeating that you make great whatever is not really going to convince a buyer and despite his one note pitch, I never got to see how "really good" his shutters were because he never answered my email. So for all of his superlative claims, alas, he can't really give quotes.
Anyway, allow me a flimsy sales pitch for this salad please. It was so good that I made it three days in a row until I ran out of the ingredients. This salad brings together the best of summer's bounty. Once the heat of January begins, luscious honeyed figs start appearing in the stores. Couple this with zucchini which is running rampant and a log of your favourite cheese (for me it was a goat's cheese but use halloumi or your favourite blue) and it's the sweet burst of summer in every bite.
Not only that, but it's assembled in less than 10 minutes, I absolutely promise this. It's also one of those salads that is impressive enough to serve to guests but doesn't make a major dent in cooking or preparation time.
Honest, pinky swear. This is a "really good" salad ;)
So tell me Dear Reader, what were your New Year's resolutions and have you stuck to them? And how many of them revolve around eating healthily?
Zucchini, Fig and Goat's Cheese Salad
An Original Recipe by Not Quite Nigella
- 2 zucchinis
- 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus extra to drizzle
- 1 teaspoon honey
- a good grind of black pepper and a pinch of salt
- 4 ripe figs
- 50g/1.7ozs goat's cheese (I used a Binnorie Dairy Buche de Chèvre)
- A small ball of labneh or dollop of natural yogurt
- 2 tablespoons dukkah
Step 1 - Make zucchini ribbons by using a vegetable peeler. Cut off the bottoms of the zucchini and make strips using the peeler by peeling from the top down to make one piece (I hold down the top and just peel towards the bottom). Discard the first strip which is just skin. Place the zucchini in a bowl.
Step 2 - Whisk the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey and salt and pepper together and pour over the zucchini. Allow to marinate for about three to four minutes.
Step 3 - While the zucchini is marinating, trim the very tops from the figs and cut the figs into quarters. Cut up the goat's cheese into small pieces and roll the labne in the dukkah.
Step 4 - Place the zucchini on a plate and top with figs and goat's cheese. Place labneh ball on top or if you're using natural yogurt, a dollop of it in the centre and a sprinkling of dukkah will do.