I am soooooo excited about this salad. I absolutely love, love, love fresh figs. Adore them. I mean, majorly huge crush.
And let me just tell you, I was fortunate enough to end up with a whole slew of fresh figs to take home with me this weekend. Yup, for the fourth week in a row I was on the road ... this week Mark and I were 'home' visiting our families.
At home, there are fig bushes.
And the season's second crop of figs had just started ripening on one of those fig bushes.
So right before we got in the car to come back home, we were given the go-ahead to clean out all the ripe figs to come on home with us. Score for me!
Tugging on branches and reaching as far as we possibly could, we ended up with a big ol' platter full. Aren't they gorgeous?
But before we get to this absolutely amazingly delicious fig salad, let's back up and talk a bit about fresh figs.
Prior to meeting my husband, the only thing I knew about figs was the inside of a Newton. Had never had a fresh fig. Had never seen a fig growing. Clueless.
Then I started going to my mother-in-law's farm. And I met fresh figs. Oh, how wonderful a day that was! Mark couldn't believe I'd never seen fresh figs. Man alive, I had been missing out.
... and baby unripe figs growing nestled in the branches.
When they turn kinda purple-ish brown-ish ... it's time! Time to enjoy their squishy deliciousness.
We seek out the ones with cracks in the skin ... like this one ...
... they're the sweetest! It's actually surprising I had a 'cracked' one like this to take a picture of ... they don't usually make it into the house, gobbled up as soon as they're picked from the branch.
... take some gorgeous fresh figs, cut them in half, and marinate them in a mixture of balsamic vinegar, honey, and olive oil.
(Oh, and just look at the beautiful inside of a fig! Did you know the inside is actually the flowers? Yup, a fig is really an inside-out flower. Cool. Weird - but cool.)
Arrange the marinated figs on a bed of arugula, top them with a smidge of blue cheese and some walnuts, and you have a fabulous seasonal treat to behold. So incredibly good.
I think I've got just enough figs left to make this salad one more time ... if all the figs don't just get popped in our mouths, that is. Hmmm, I'd say they've got about a 50/50 chance of making it to a salad plate.
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Marinated Fig and Arugula Salad with Blue Cheese & Walnuts
Source: A Tracey original, marinade adapted from Southern Living Magazine
For 2 servings:
10 fresh figs, halved
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
4 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. honey
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Tiny pinch of salt
About 2 c. arugula
About 1 T. blue cheese crumbles, or more/less to taste
About 2 T. coarsely chopped walnuts
1. Combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, and salt in a bowl; whisk until well combined. Add figs and stir gently to coat.
2. Set aside and let stand for 30 to 45 minutes.
3. Divide arugula and place on two salad plates. Place figs on top of arugula and drizzle with a small amount of the marinade. Top with blue cheese crumbles and walnuts.
NOTE: The combination of the marinated figs and blue cheese is absolutely fabulous, but be aware that the blue cheese can easily take over the flavor of this salad. I recommend using the blue cheese sparingly, and adjusting the amount to suit your personal taste.