This week we spotted chef David Lefevre shopping for figs at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market. The chef/owner of MB Post, Fishing with Dynamite and the recently opened The Arthur J in Manhattan Beach says they are a delicate fruit – “treat them like a baby!” – but worth the effort. At The Arthur J he quickly sears figs cut side down over hot coals to caramelize the sugars. At Fishing with Dynamite he tosses fresh black mission figs with quinoa, arugula, asparagus and a dollop of sumac aioli for this refreshing late-summer salad.
Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Figs and Sumac Aioli
From Fishing with Dynamite in Manhattan Beach, CA
1/4 cup asparagus, peeled, grilled and marinated with olive oil, lemon zest and salt
1 Tbsp toasted cashews, chopped
Sumac aioli, recipe follows
3 cups quinoa, cooked and cooled
¼ cup cucumber, diced and seeded
2 Tbsp capers, chopped
2 Tbsp red onion, brunoised
½ cup arugula, chopped
½ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup parsley, chopped
1/8 cup mint, chopped
lemon zest from ½ lemon
8-10 fresh black mission figs, cut in quarters
Cook and marinate asparagus.
Prepare sumac aioli.
Gently toss salad ingredients (from quinoa to figs) in a large bowl.
Top salad blend with asparagus, cashews, dollop sumac aioli and finish with lemon juice just before serving
Makes 4 cups.
Mayonnaise – 4 cups
Sumac – ¼ tsp
Lemon Juice – juice from one lemon
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
Reserve and refrigerate remaining aioli for future use.