peas, figs and marinated goat cheese salad

my friend evie and i always talk food and books . . . and wine. actually, i mostly listen when she talks wine. evie is the taste and vision for gemelli wines and spirits and she is also the proprietor of a playful and distinguished palate. when she likes a morsel i make, it gets written down. but when she loves it, it gets blogged about.

so i present: the evie salad
a few weekends ago evie invited jim and me to dinner, and since my latest craze is the pursuit of an exalted salad, i offered to attempt one for her. this then, is the story of the evie salad: i was at the market and saw that peas are in season . . . oh how i adore the peerless petite vegetable. and, ambrosial figs are in too. to put them together with soft greens, toasted pine nuts, thinly sliced purple onions, and marinated goat cheese might make for an evie approved salad. i texted evie with my idea. YES was texted back. and the final approval came the next day after dinner with her, "i'm in salad love" on my text screen.
sweet and green, in season at the same time . . . peas and figs make a bright-candy-savory-salad
evie's wine pairing suggestions: (she always offers two choices and leaves the final decision to me) so, i pick the domaine de menard over naia verdejo. both wines are soft, friendly whites, but the domaine de menard is a blend of colombard, and ugni blac and i like the idea of something a little more special to pay homage to the evie salad.

ingredients (serves 6)
• 1 log of goat cheese, cut into 1/4" slices
• extra virgin olive oil
• several pinches of dill
• a handful of italian parsley leaves
• 2 cups of shelled peas
• 9 ripe figs
• 1/2 purple onion, thinly sliced
• pine nuts
• fresh salad greens
• white pear balsamic vinegar
• cracked pepper
1. put the goat cheese slices in a shallow covered dish. drizzle the cheese with olive oil, dill, and cracked pepper. press an italian parsley leaf into the top of each cheese slice. cover and refrigerate for several hours.
2. blanch the peas in boiling water to soften them. drain and allow to cool completely.
3. toast the pine nuts on a dry skillet until golden.
4. cut the tops off of the figs and skewer them. drizzle a cast iron griddle with olive oil, and heat it to med-hi. grill the figs in the oil by rotating the skewer to lightly cook them all the way around. allow the figs to cool and half then lengthwise.
5. lay the greens on a plate and top with the peas, figs, onion slices, and toasted pine nuts. crack some salt and pepper over the plate.
6. drizzle the pear balsamic vinegar and some olive oil over the salad. top with a few slices of the marinated goat cheese.

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