a flavorful charred corn & fig salad with a spicy chili fennel vinaigrette
1. Preheat a portion of the grill over high heat and another portion over low heat.
2. Heat a medium-sized sauté pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the fennel seeds. Let the seeds toast for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
3. Add the sliced fennel and chili peppers. Season with a pinch of salt. Cook for a few minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and let the ingredients continue to cook until tender, golden brown, and slightly crisp, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool.
4. Meanwhile, husk the ears of corn and place them directly onto the hottest part of the grill, right over the flames. Let the corn cook on all sides until slightly charred, just a few minutes (watch them closely so they don’t burn).
5. Once charred, move the corn to the lower heat and cover the grill lid. Let cook for about 10 minutes until tender. Transfer the corn to a cutting board. Slice off the kernels and set aside.
6. Transfer the cooled fennel mixture to a mixing bowl, scraping all of the oil into the bowl as well.
7. Whisk in the apple cider vinegar and honey. Slowly drizzle in the safflower oil, whisking continuously until emulsified. Stir in the salt.
8. Add the corn, figs, and feta cheese. Stir to combine. Taste the salad and season with more salt if needed. Serve the salad in a large serving bowl and garnish with the microgreens.