Updated: Jan 9
It's fig season!
Seven years ago, shortly after we settled into our new home, I planted this exotic tree even though I had never had a fresh fig in my life. The lady who sold me the tree said you have to have a pair of trees, so I bought two of them. One is a Brown Turkey fig tree, and the other is a Mission fig tree. I planted them right away, not knowing how things would turn out, but it's been great! Even after a few hurricanes, my two trees have survived. And they're not just surviving; they're thriving! They're growing so fast!
I started making baby food when Johnny was born, and figs were his favorite fruit. He still loves them. Figs are truly treats; so sweet! They are naturally high in sugars, minerals, and soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is so important because it feeds our good bacteria, keeping our gut healthy. Figs are also full of great antioxidants and rich in vitamins A and K.
There are a few things to keep in mind about figs. The first is that they're very perishable. Once you pick them, they won't continue to ripen like a peach. Because figs are so delicate and perishable, it costs a lot to transport them. I think that's why we never saw them when I lived up north. The other thing I have to tell you is that people love figs, birds and bugs love them too. So, if you buy figs at the market, make sure to ask if they were sprayed with insecticides, and wash them really well before you eat them.
The recipe I want to share with you today unfortunately asks for fresh fruit only; not dry figs. So if you are lucky and have access to fresh figs, please try this fantastic and healthy salad that can satisfy you for a light lunch or dinner on its own or as a side dish to any protein.
Another great component to this salad is my all-time favorite vegetable: beets. Some of my friends tease me about beets. I love beets so much! I grew up eating them often, but only in a few dishes. Now my experimental life in the kitchen allows me to do so many things with them. I'll tell you more someday, but today I'm keeping simple. I'm very excited to share this easy, healthy, crazy delicious salad that will make you eat an extra bite.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Author: Inna of innichkachef.com
Yield: 2 servings
⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 orange, juice only
1 lemon, juice only
Pinch of pink salt
Few turns of black pepper
1 clove garlic, grated
Few sprigs fresh rosemary
3 beets, cooked
1 lb. figs, firmed
4 oz. fresh goat cheese
2 handfuls spinach
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
Citrus Dressing Directions
1. Squeeze juice of lemon and orange. Add to an empty jar.
2. Add oil, grated garlic, and chopped rosemary.
3. Add salt and black pepper.
4. Close the lid and give the jar a good shake.
5. Pour over your salad of choice or set it aside while you make the fabulous fig-beet salad below.
1. Roast beets by wrapping them in foil and placing them on a baking sheet. Bake at 350F for half an hour. Remove them from the oven and peel the skin off with the foil (this way makes much less of a mess).
2. Slice the cooked beets into pieces that are roughly the size of a fig half. I recommend wearing gloves for this step.
3. While the beets are baking, wash the figs well, dry them with paper towels, and slice them in half.
4. Arrange the spinach leaves on a serving platter, then add figs and sliced beets.
5. Sprinkle with walnuts (I prefer bigger pieces) and goat cheese.
6. Pour a healthy dose of dressing over the salad.