Although the fig harvest is long over at this point—where did the summer go?—I still wanted to get some fig recipes out there, just in case there are still some figs popping up at farmers markets somewhere.
There were so many figs from the tree this year—one day I harvested close to ten pounds—that we were looking for any kind of way to use them up. A nice problem to have, for sure.
Because these balsamic-and-cheese baked figs are so tasty, I thought I’d try to incorporate them into a salad and, you know, try to be healthy-like. And while I like the idea of eating spinach, there’s something about raw spinach that I don’t quite love—part texture, partly that squeaky-on-your-teeth feeling, partly all that chewing—so I thought I’d do a wilted salad.
There’s something indescribable about this combination of flavors—warm figs with balsamic, feta and toasted walnuts. The spinach is just there to sop up the juices, really. And to make you feel just the slightest bit virtuous.Wilted Spinach and Fig Salad with Feta, Balsamic and Walnuts 3-4 cups fresh baby spinach, rinsed if needed 1/3 cup diced onions
1 ½ cups fresh figs, stemmed and halved 1 Tablespoon olive oil 3-4 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar ½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled freshly ground black pepper
In large frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook 3-4 minutes. Add figs and cook for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften and release their juices. Add balsamic vinegar and cook 1-2 more minutes until figs are softened. Add spinach and toss with fig mixture. Reduce heat and continue to cook until spinach is slightly wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with feta, walnuts and black pepper. Add more balsamic vinegar to taste. Serves 1 as a main meal, 2 as a side.