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Al Brown's Fig, raspberry and blue cheese salad

Al Brown's Fig, raspberry and blue cheese salad


Helly’s Book of the week – Al Brown Eat Up New Zealand

Fig, raspberry and blue cheese salad.

“I think autumn is probably my favourite season. I'm definitely a cooler season sort of guy. Lighting fires, shorter daylight hours, hunkering down and embracing the slow-cooking times ahead appeals to me. It's also the time of year when the fruit on offer always feels so exotic, with such unique flavours and fragrances. Feijoas, quinces, persimmons, and tamarillos are all fruits that signal autumn is upon us. It's also time for figs. What many people don't realise is that autumn also produces a small late flush of beautiful raspberries into the market. It's like the last tangible link to summer before the days shorten and winter takes hold” AL Brown.

Serves 6 as a starter


⅓ cup (80 ml/2½ fl oz) good-quality red wine


¼ cup (50 g/1¾ oz) finely diced shallots 1½ tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 cup (250 ml/9 fl oz) walnut oil flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper



8 fresh figs, quartered

1 punnet raspberries (approx. 1 cup/125 g/4½ oz)

1 small radicchio, ripped into pieces

2 witloof, sliced

2 radishes, finely sliced

½ cup (50 g/1¾ oz) toasted walnuts

100 g (3½ oz) crumbled blue cheese

4 stems chervil walnut oil, to serve

To make the red wine vinaigrette, place the vinegar, shallots, sugar and mustard in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring up to the boil, then remove and pour into a jug-like container. Take a stick blender and blitz the vinegar mixture. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the walnut oil until combined and emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until required.

Arrange the figs, raspberries, radicchio, witloof and radish on a platter or individual plates. Top with the walnuts and blue cheese, then spoon over a little red wine vinaigrette and drizzle with a liberal amount of walnut oil. Garnish with picked chervil leaves. Serve the salad with extra red wine vinaigrette on the side. Eat now.



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