Today is the last day of the eat local, meatless and zero food waste challenge, and time to make a quick stop at Community Market to buy some more local tomatoes before they are all gone for the season. As I wandered the produce aisle, I spotted a beautiful sight. Low and behold, sitting so humbly in their sweet cardboard carton, were fresh figs. Talk about an inspiration for the home cook. Figs, so ancient and Biblical, so sensual; they call in a sultry voice and just beg to be put in your mouth.
But what to do with them? The good news is these come from a local organic farm. Staying true to the “go local” challenge, I thought about the other local ingredients that might be available. I remembered a salad I had in Florence in the fall of 2015. It had sliced radishes and goat cheese over salad greens, dressed in extra virgin olive oil. Perhaps figs would add a sweet to the savory? I wondered if this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Yes, indeed, a marriage made in heaven. Here is my Fig and Goat Cheese Salad, all local ingredients and bursting with flavor. I love the salty flavor of the hard goat cheese juxtaposed with the sweet fig flesh. The olive oil and touch of balsamic vinegar bring out the flavors and complement the dish is a satisfying way. I hope you like it!
A note about the olive oil and balsamic vinegar: How much olive oil and how much balsamic is really a personal preference. I tend to go heavy on the olive oil, but that is just me. These measurements are just a suggestion, and you can always put these condiments on the table and let your guests or family decide for themselves. In true Italian fashion.
Today I had this salad for lunch and felt nice and full. If you want a more substantial salad, you can add some chopped walnuts. Don’t forget the fresh Italian bread!
Fresh Fig and Goat Cheese Salad
A fresh, light, Italian-inspired salad perfect for lunch or dinner.
- 4-5 radishes, sliced paper-thin
- 5-6 green or black figs (or a combination), in quarters
- 1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
- 4 -5 healthy handfuls of arugula or salad greens of your choice
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- optional – roughly chopped walnuts
- For 2 large salads or 4 small side salads:
- Set out a large salad bowl and add 4 good-sized handfuls of washed and dried arugula. You can use salad mix if you wish, but I like the spicy flavor of the arugula and the way it stands up to the other ingredients.
- Place the figs and radishes on top of the greens and then add the crumbled cheese.
- Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic.
- Add a few grinds of black pepper to taste. Serve as an appetizer, for a light lunch or a dinner side dish. Happy autumn!