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Categories: Salads, Vegetarian

Fennel and red onion salad with pickled figs

Fennel and red onion salad with pickled figs
Los Angeles Times

Fall has always seemed an especially sweet season for me. When I was a kid I'd get a thrill seeing the neatly lined up boxes of fresh pencils and rows of unmarked notebooks in the stores. Not to mention the ... Read more

Total time: 40 minutes plus pickling time | Serves 6

Quick-pickled figs

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 (1 1/2 -inch) cinnamon stick
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 6 whole allspice
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 12 fresh figs, purple or green (about 3/4 pound)

Step 1In a small saucepan, bring the water, vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and black peppercorns to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 10 minutes.

Step 2Place the figs in a bowl and pour the pickling mixture over. Let cool, then transfer to a plastic zipper storage bag. Let stand at least 1 1/2 hours at room temperature or refrigerate up to one week.

Salad and assembly

  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion (about 1/2 onion)
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seed
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil mixed with 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • Quick-pickled figs

Step 1Trim the fennel branches from the bulbs and cut the bulbs in quarters lengthwise. Trim the solid core in the center and then slice the quarters lengthwise as thinly as you can.

Step 2Place the sliced red onion in a strainer and rinse under hot tap water. Pat dry.

Step 3Prepare the vinaigrette by toasting the coriander seeds in a small, dry pan over medium heat until it is fragrant, about 3 minutes. Grind the seeds fine in a mortar and pestle and stir in the vinegar. Slowly stir in the oil to make a smooth emulsion. Season with salt to taste.

Step 4Toast the walnuts in a small, dry pan over medium heat until they darken slightly and become fragrant, about 5 minutes (you can use the same pan as for the coriander seed).

Step 5Combine the fennel and the onion in a large mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over and toss to coat lightly.

Step 6Divide the salad evenly among 6 plates, mounding it in the center. Remove the tough stems from the pickled figs and slice the figs in quarters. Arrange the figs over each salad; scatter the toasted walnuts over the top, and serve.

Each serving:
324 calories; 3 grams protein; 44 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams fiber; 17 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 42 mg. sodium.
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