I’ve been all about challenging myself lately. The great thing is I’ve been able to explore new ingredients and new recipes. The downside is that sometimes it’s not always a winning combination or we just don’t care for the ingredient as much.
Not so with figs.
I love those damn things. I will be 100% honest here and say that up until this week I have never in my life tasted a fresh fig. Dried figs, Fig Newtons, sure. But a fresh fig, never.
Costco had a small flat of figs the last time we went and I just instantly gravitated to it. I had no idea if I’d like them but I’d be satisfied that I at least tried. I had no idea what to do with them, but that’s the amazing thing about Google – you can find just about anything.
By the way, fresh figs are a decadent treat and biting into a fresh fig is indescribable.
I decided a nice spinach salad with a rich sticky balsamic glaze on grilled figs with candied walnuts sounded about right.
Balsamic Glazed Figs
- 1/2 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 6 fresh figs
- In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar and sugar to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and let reduce to 1/4 cup – about 10 minutes.
- Keep warm. Note: As the mixture cools it will thicken and get sticky.
- Preheat grill over medium-low heat.
- Cut figs in half. Brush with the balsamic reduction.
- Place cut side down on preheated grill. Close lid and grill until softened, turning once. This should take about 5 minutes, depending on the size of the figs.
- 1/3 cup agave nectar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pinch cinnamon
- Pinch cayenne
- 2 1/2 cups whole walnuts or pecans
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- In a medium bowl mix all ingredients together and toss in the nuts. Stir well to coat.
- Spread evenly on a greased, foil-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, watching carefully. Stir throughout to break up bigger chunks.
- 2 Tbsp lavender vinegar
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 cloves garlic, pressed
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Whisk to combine.
Assembling the Salad:
- 1 package baby spinach
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 recipe Balsamic Glazed Figs
- 1/2 cup Candied Walnuts
- 1 recipe Lavender Vinaigrette