Arugula salad with warm figs & Marimekko

Jesse Donaldson

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The Market

Last Friday I was working from home (read: last Friday, I went to St. Lawrence market). The market is quite far from my house – especially with an armload of obscure cheeses and freshly ground meats – so I don’t get there often. However, when I do make the trek I routinely visit the same stands; my most recent visit was no exception.

First, I grabbed a bag of arugula. It’s spicy, fresh, and seems to last forever in the fridge. Then, like a homing beacon, I found free samples of Bouq Emissaire – a raw-milk goat cheese, from Quebec, covered in an ash rind. The cheese has an earthly, almost flat flavour; I found it to be quite different from the goat cheese I typically purchase. Finally, I circled back to the produce section where an (overly) enthusiastic vendor was handing out free figs to marketgoers. Needless to say, the figs were crazy good and I happily payed $5 for an entire carton. I left satisfied, but it wasn’t until I got home that I realized my impulse purchases would combine into a delicious salad.

I drizzled the figs with a Liquid Gold raspberry balsamic (which I stole from Aunt Sharon’s house), and stuck them in the oven for a few minutes. From there, I sloppily threw the figs on a plate of arugula, then added goat cheese, olive oil and a bit of pepper. I sometimes forget that seasonal, fresh ingredients don’t need a lot of fuss to be delicious!

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Aunt Sharon, I know you think goat cheese tastes like… goats… but maybe this will make up for my hideous cheese use! Many months ago, Aunt Sharon and I went to the Textile Museum of Canada to check out an exhibit featuring the Finnish-based designer, Marimekko. The prints are bold, with a striking use of colour. Consequently, I was very excited to find out that my local furniture store sells Marimekko kitchenware! The paper napkins in the photo show off the iconic Unikko pattern.

Jesse is a twenty-something-year-old, living in Toronto, who would sooner sell her boyfriend’s possessions than cut the grocery budget.
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– Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance


11 thoughts on “Arugula salad with warm figs & Marimekko

  1. Well, on the topic of goat cheese, I actually had a taste of one recently that I liked! I was at Pan Chancho, and they were sampling Salt Spring Island Cheese Company’s peppercorn chevre ( I was drawn by the pepper, and didn’t realize it was goat cheese until I had it in my mouth, and it was FABULOUS. I don’t think I’m ready for ash-rinded hard goat cheese, but it’s a step, right?

    Anyway, I’ll forgive you the goat cheese because of the figs and arugula. And I’ll forgive you stealing my Liquid Gold raspberry balsamic because I just got more (it’s in a locked cupboard, pending your next visit). Those figs look so plump and purple and delicious — love the way they echo the classic Marimekko purplish-blue in the napkin!

    I’m trying to find the name of a new design team I just read about – they’re cousins, one from Finland (who used to design for Marimekko) and one from Canada. I saw some of their towels in a shelter magazine, and they’re gorgeous…and their store is in Toronto. Road trip!

  2. That cheese is amaaaaaazing……reminds me of one I had in Galway, but from Corsica. The Corsican cheese was rolled in the dried herbs the beast nibbled on.
    I need to visit Salt Spring on the next Vancouver tour and see what Bruce Wood is up to.

  3. I love fresh figs. For a long time I didn’t really think about figs beyond dried figs…which are a delicious snack, but not as great for salads. My roommate used to roast figs in the oven with goat cheese right on top.

    • Somebody had a stuffed fig recipe, but I don’t remember who it was, or exactly what was in it, other than chopped almonds. I know you served it with sherry!

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