Since figs are in season just once a year, for a short period when summer fades into fall, this is the salad I’m devouring right now. The bitter radicchio paired with the sweet, caramelized, roasted figs and the salty crumbles of goat cheese satisfies every craving in one forkful.
Figs are one of those rare fruits that producers haven’t yet figured out how to grow out of season, ship from halfway around the world, or pick under-ripe and store for months on end. Therefore the figs you’re seeing right now at your grocery store or farmers market are at peak perfection.
Transform this salad into a nourishing meal, perfect for lunch or dinner, by tossing in a cup of cooked farro, wheat berries, or brown rice.
When figs are not in season, pears or grapes make impressive stand-ins.
Yield: serves 4
- 10 fresh figs, stems removed, quartered (do not peel)
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 cups arugula
- 1/2 head radicchio, core removed, chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese or ricotta salata
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts or hazelnuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, toss together the figs, balsamic vinegar, honey, olive oil, and salt. Spread the figs out on the baking sheet and roast in the center of the oven for 10 minutes, or until soft and slightly browned.
In a small mason jar, combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and mustard. Screw on the lid and shake vigorously until fully blended.
In a large salad bowl, toss together the arugula, radicchio, half of the cheese, and half of the nuts. Top the salad with the roasted figs and the remaining cheese and nuts.
Serve with a hunk of baguette and the dressing on the side for drizzling over top.
Elyse Kopecky is a whole foods chef currently co-authoring a cookbook for runners, Run Fast Eat Slow, with Olympic marathoner and longtime friend, Shalane Flanagan. After 10 years working for Nike and EA Sports, Elyse decided to pursue her passion for talking and writing about food. She went to NYC to study culinary nutrition at the Natural Gourmet Institute and has taken cooking classes throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. Sign-up for sneak peeks of Shalane and Elyse’s book at runfasteatslow.com or follow along @ElyseKopecky.