Friends, fig season has officially arrived. That means these adorable fruits will be available for impromptu snacking and adding pizzazz to our dinner tables all the way through December. And, I don’t know about you, but when fig season hits, I react. These perishable fruits are relatively hard to find where I originally come from in the Midwest, as they don’t survive low temps very well and are quite fragile in their own gorgeous skin. Since I’ve been on the East Coast a couple years, and figs seem to be readily available locally, I’ve become quite the fig fanatic. I scoop up a basket whenever I see them and if I don’t get to enjoying the delicate fruits in time, I pull out my trusty dehydrator and make a few snacks for later.
This salad is a lovely blend of full fig flavor and late summertime goodness, taking it a step away from is [oftentimes] Autumnal associations—stuffed into pies, tarts, jams and figgy puddings.
When purchasing figs, try and buy them only if you plan on eating (or dehydrating) them right away. Seek out fully ripened figs that give to gentle pressure with your thumb. Slightly wrinkled skin and small cracks are perfectly fine, but avoid any fruit that is too soft, seeping or oozing. Figs are quite perishable, but you can keep them for one to two days if stored properly–I keep mine in in a bowl on my countertop (in full view) to remind me to use them up quickly.
Fig and Kale Salad
Yield: 1 large lunchtime salad or 4 small side salads
- 115 g kale, (about 3 cups packed) stems removed and cut into large bite sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 ripe–but slightly softened—avocado
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 1 small yellow zucchini, diced
- 2 cups leaves (mixed greens, etc.) of choice: curly endive, arugula, spinach
- A few fresh figs, your favorite variety, cut into wedges
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
Place the kale into a large bowl and add in the lemon juice, avocado and sea salt. Using very clean hands, massage the ingredients together until kale is wilted and avocado and salt have been evenly distributed.
Toss in the shredded carrot and zucchini and then add in the 2 cups mixed greens leaves. Gently fold in the figs and flaxseed and eat immediately.
This salad makes a stunning addition to a summertime potluck or dinner party plate.