Fig, Bleu Cheese, & Walnut Salad

We were recently at Whole Foods and so excited because we found fresh figs for the first time in a while! We used dried figs in our Bruschetta Board that we posted last week and still had them on the brain when it came to making a menu this week! Sometimes simple is best, and this salad is just that. High quality ingredients with a simple vinaigrette and boom, we have a beautiful salad that pairs well with most menus this summer. 

Fig, Walnut, & Blue Cheese Salad 
Makes: 4 appetizer servings 
Prep Time: 10 minutes    Total Time: 15 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 6 cups arugula 
  • 8 fresh figs, stems removed and cut in half 
  • 1 wedge good quality blue cheese- if you hate blue cheese like Tate’s mom, goat works well too 
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts 
  • 2 tsp butter 
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Ingredients For Dressing: 

  • ⅓ cup olive oil 
  • 1 tbs dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs balsamic glaze or 2 tbs balsamic vinegar 
  • 2 tsp honey 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

  1. Make the dressing by whisking the dressing ingredients (olive oil through garlic) in a small mixing bowl. If you want a really creamy texture to your dressing, you can make this in a blender, otherwise, whisk until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside. 
  2. Heat a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the walnuts and toast them until they become fragrant- about 4 minutes. Remove them from the pan and season well with salt. 
  3. In the same pan, heat the butter until it becomes bubbly. Add the figs cut side down and let them caramelize for a few minutes. This helps bring out their sweetness and gives them a little crust. 
  4. Assemble the salad by layering the arugula, figs, walnuts, and blue cheese. Drizzle the dressing over top and season with a good amount of black pepper. 

Summer Berry Trifle

After celebrating quite a few birthdays in May & June, we have had to start getting creative about what to do with leftover birthday cake. We love our share of cake, but after a few days, we were getting a little tired of tasting the same ingredients. We experimented a bit with different leftover birthday cakes and repurposed them to create summer trifles. By adding homemade whipped cream and fresh berries we were able to continue to enjoy our sweet treats in a different way. No extra cake? No problem. You can pick up an angel food cake at the store and use it in the same way. 

Summer Berry Trifle 
Makes: 12 servings  
Prep Time: 10 minutes     Total Time: 40 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 leftover cake- about 8 cups cubed (or store bought angel food cake)
  • 3 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped 
  • 3 tbs sugar 
  • 4 cups of mixed berries (we used strawberries, blackberries and blueberries)

Directions: 

  1. If you are using leftover cake, scrape the frosting off the cake and cut the cake into one inch cubes. This does not need to be perfect. If using store bought, cut the angel food cake into one inch cubes. Set aside.
  2. Using a hand mixer, mix the heavy whipping cream, vanilla bean, and sugar until the cream forms stiff peaks. About 5 minutes. 
  3. Assemble the trifle by layering the cake cubes, whipped cream and mixed berries. You want to make sure that the cake is thoroughly coated in the whipped cream so that it can soak up the moisture. Top with a layer of whipped cream and use any remaining berries for decoration.
  4. Keep the trifle refrigerated for at least 30 minutes before serving. This can be made overnight. Serve cold.