I never used to like salads, but then I grew up with iceburg lettuce chopped up and smothered in store-bought salad dressing. Salads have some a long way baby!
I highly recommend you try this full-flavored salad, and I’d pair it with a nice, crisp, cold glass of Mohua Sauvignon Blanc.
The natural sweetness of roasted fennel and red onion add subtle depth to this beautiful and delicious salad, while the addition of preserved lemon rind adds an unexpected pop of flavor to the dressing. I love figs. I’d never had one other than in a Fig Newton cookie, then a grower brought a container into our offices (I worked as a produce broker, and we always got great fruit and vegetable packages from the shipper) and I’ve been hooked since.
Tip: For best results, make the Lemon-Tahini Dressing in advance to give the flavors a chance to mingle. If you are short on time, the dressing can also be prepared while the vegetables are roasting.
15 minPrep Time
35 minCook Time
- Lemon-Tahini Dressing:
- 3 T. tahini
- 3 T. hot water
- 3 T. fresh lemon juice
- 1 T. preserved lemon rind, rinsed and chopped
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled
- ¼ t. ground cumin
- Dash cayenne pepper
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Salad Ingredients:
- 1 large fennel bulb
- 1 large red onion
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 T. balsamic vinegar
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 3 T. fresh thyme leaves
- 2 c. arugula, washed and patted dry
- 2 c. baby spinach, washed and patted dry
- 3 medium ripe figs, cut half, then sliced
- 1. Prepare dressing by combining ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, scraping the sides with a spatula to ensure the tahini is thoroughly incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired. Set aside.
- 2. Preheat oven to 425°F degrees and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat® baking mat. Set aside.
- 3. Remove the stems and bottom from the fennel bulb, then cut into ½” thick slices from top to bottom. Place slices in a large bowl and reserve the fronds for garnish, if desired. Set aside.
- 4. Remove ends and outer skin of red onion. Cut in half from root to stem and then cut each half into ½” thick slices. Place half-round slices into bowl with fennel.
- 5. Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar to bowl and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Gently toss until the fennel and red onion is evenly coated.
- 6. Transfer vegetables to prepared baking sheet and arrange in a single layer without overcrowding. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves and place in pre-heated oven. Roast for 30-35 minutes, turning once. Once vegetables are golden brown, remove from oven and set aside.
- 7. Place arugula and spinach in a large bowl and add 3 tablespoons of lemon-tahini dressing and toss to combine. Arrange greens on serving platter and top with roasted fennel, red onion, and fresh fig slices. Garnish with fennel fronds, if desired.
- 8. To serve, drizzle additional dressing on top, if desired, and pass the remaining amount for those who prefer more. Enjoy!