Confession: I am really jealous of the people I know who have fresh figs growing in their garden. Figs are difficult to grow in the rocky soil of Connecticut. In fact, a lot of things are hard to grow here, not just because of all the rocks, but also because of all the animals that come along and eat up every tomato, bean and even gladiola flower that you plant.
I guess they have to survive too. Still, it would be nice to at least have one tomato for myself.
But I digress. I haven’t even tried to grow figs, which I love and look forward to every summer around this time, when they are in season. But when I go to the store and see how expensive they are I go back to my wish-I-grew-some envy.
I actually bought some figs recently because they were irresistible. I poached some to serve with the Ginger Ice Cream in Almond Cookie Cups I served to guests. I added some to a pan of baking chicken, which I’ll blog about here soon enough.
The rest? I cut for salad. Figs are not overly sweet. Just sweet enough to balance tangy blue cheese and sharp greens such as arugula, frisee and radicchio (although this would be good with a mild lettuce such as Bibb too).
Fresh Fig Salad with Cheese and Nuts
1 head frisee (or use a small soft lettuce such as Bibb)
1 small head radicchio
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar (OR 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar plus 2 teaspoons sherry)
4-6 large fresh figs, quartered, or 8-10 small figs, halved
1/2 cup crumbled blue-type cheese
1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
Wash and dry the frisee or lettuce and radicchio, break into smaller pieces and place in a bowl. Mix the vegetable oil and vinegar and pour over the salad; toss. Place equal amounts on 4 salad plates. Scatter the figs equally on top. Scatter with the blue cheese and nuts. Makes 4 servings