Sunday, November 9, 2008

Salad with Fig-Yogurt Dressing

Life is getting back to normal, no travelling this week and hopefully, no funerals. However, I cannot move forward without mentioning last Wednesday night’s dinner at Murray’s in Lexington, KY. G-Bone, Peter Wellington, and I gave this restaurant a 9.5 out of 10 for amazing ambiance, food and service. The restaurant is in an old converted manor house, and with last week’s fabulous weather, we opted to sit on their very large patio under sparkling white lights and the warmth of the fire place. To start, our adorable (and slightly prego) waitress, Morgan, brought out small loaves of warm bread. I had the house salad with roasted garlic and red wine vinaigrette, and was so impressed by the salad I knew that our dinner would be phenomenal. For the entree I had the Pork tenderloin filetsapplewood bacon wrapped and pan roasted, topped with Granny Smith apple chutney & maple chipotle butter sauce” and a side of corn pudding (what can I say, I love corn. I’m a mid-western girl through and through). For dessert, G-Bone and I split the seared pound cake in caramel with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Is your mouth watering yet?? Worth the drive to Lexington for this meal alone.
My grandfather passed away on Nov 1, which also happens to be the one year anniversary of running my first (and very likely only) marathon. My 11/1/07 self would be disappointed in my tubby 11/1/08 self. I ran 2 or 3 miles today in preparation for the Pigskin Classic 5k that Ruby and I are running on OSU vs Michigan game day (Nov 22, too soon!). It was a sad sight and I am surely going to be sore this week. But I am re-dedicating myself to getting in shape. I have planned out this week’s menu: four nights of Asian-inspired healthy, delicious, and fairly-quick meals with leftovers for lunch. I did my grocery shopping and the good news is that many of the ingredients overlap. This week’s preview: Shrimp fried rice, crispy ginger and garlic turkey lettuce wraps, chicken curry, and Vietnamese spring rolls.

CC came over today, pumpkin cheesecake with pecan praline topping in hand. Doesn’t he realize I am on a diet? Ok, one little itty bitty slice won’t hurt (I went running, my favorite excuse to splurge). OMG, amazing. The recipe came from this month’s food and wine magazine. I think the only way to possibly improve on this cheesecake’s perfection would be to use fresh pumpkins instead of canned purée. Also included in the magazine is an article claiming that yogurt is the new superfood. Who am I to argue? So, within this article I stumbled upon tonight’s salad recipe: Mixed green Salad with Fig-Yogurt dressing. As I was making it, I realized this was a fantastic tribute to my grandfather. The man loved figs, we gave him some every Christmas. And according to the recipe, figs are rich in vitamin K, hooray!

Mixed Green Salad with Fig-Yogurt Dressing

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dried figs, stemmed and halved
2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 cups mixed greens (1/2 pound) (I used red leaf lettuce)
1 cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (3 ounces)

1. In a small heatproof bowl, soak the figs in the boiling water until softened, about 15 minutes, then drain.
2. Transfer two-thirds of the soaked figs to a blender. Add the yogurt, lemon juice and vinegar and puree until smooth. Add the remaining figs to the blender and pulse once or twice, until the figs are coarsely chopped. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss the greens with the dressing, top with the cheese shavings and serve right away.

Perfect parmesan shavings thanks to my new cheese peeler from Blaze, I love it! The dressing is very sweet, but the cheese is the perfect balance. Looking forward to tomorrow's leftovers.

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