Friday, September 14, 2012

Imitation, Flattery, and Figs

The other night T and I decided on take-out from our favorite pizza place, Pizza Nea. We sat at the bar watching the chef slide pies into the enormous wood-fire oven and chatted with owner (and fellow Rosevillian) Mike about cheese, politics, and kids. I've been a fan of Mike's since he opened the St. Paul Bagelry 15-some years ago, bringing decent bagels and a clean casual breakfast deli to my neighborhood. We dough-groupies followed him to Northeast when he sold the Bagelry (which still boils a great bagel) and opened Pizza Nea.

And though I love the pizza, it is the Verde salad that transports me: greens, pignoli, prosciutto, Parm-Reg, and Pecorino. I'll steal a slice of T's pizza and then float into Verde bliss.

I don't often find myself with more than a handful of fresh figs. I've lost my mind when I've seen them go as high as $20 a pound at my local grocery. Last night I scored a 2 pound bin for $4.99 at Trader Joe's and made my version of Pizza Nea's Verde. You know what they say about imitation and flattery.

Verde Fig
2 cups baby kale, chard, and spinach
3 to 4 fresh figs, quartered
1/4 red onion, sliced very thin
A few tablespoon pignoli (pinenuts), toasted
1 slice cooked bacon
A nice handful Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

Fig-infused light balsamic vinegar
Good coarse grainy mustard
Maple syrup
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

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