It’s fig season! Fig season! Fig. Season.
I hope that you are equally as excited about this news as I am! Figs are one of my favorite fruits. I anxiously await this time each summer and then eat as many as possible before I am forced back to the selection of dried figs in the bulk bins.
Maybe you need some convincing on why you, too, should love figs. Allow me to help. They are:
- referred to “as the fruit of the gods”
- one of the sweetest fruits – naturally!
- rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber, magnesium and other feel good vitamins and minerals
- high in calcium and potassium, which can help increase bone health and lower blood pressure
- and most important of all, delicious to eat!
Figs have two seasons. The first season occurs at the beginning of June and lasts only a few weeks. I almost always miss this one. But don’t panic, there is another chance! The second season runs from late summer through early fall. As in right now! I know, try to contain your excitement.
In this fig and kale salad, the fruit is able to really shine! It is the star of the show. You can appreciate the sweet and delicate aroma of figs in every bite and it balances well with the bitter and peppery taste of the kale. The key to using raw kale in a salad is to massage the leaves, especially if your bunch has big leaves. The bigger the leaves = the tougher and more bitter they are. First, remove the hard center stem from the kale. I prefer use my hands and tear the leaves off of the stem into bite size pieces. However, if you want uniform bites, I would suggest using a knife.
Next put the kale into a bowl and lightly salt it. Then massage it by grabbing handfuls of the leaves. While doing this, you can also double check that all of the kale is torn into appropriate sizes. Continue to scrunch the leaves in your hands until they turn a darker shade of green and become fragrant.
To increase the the fig and kale salad from a side dish to an entree and to add crunch, I mixed a head of chopped Romain into the massaged kale. Make sure you do this after massaging the kale. If you add it before, you will be sorry. The salt will make the Romain pieces wilt and get soggy – not good.
Finally, the fig and kale salad is topped off with creamy goat cheese and a homemade balsamic reduction. Mmhmmm! It goes fabulously with basil pesto rolled chicken. (Check back for more on that soon).
Now, go forth a buy fresh figs while the gettin’ is good!
If you make this Fig and Kale Salad with a Balsamic Reduction, then please let me know how it goes.
Yields 4-6 servings
Fresh figs really shine in this quick summer salad! The natural sweetness of the fruit compliments the peppery kale and creamy goat cheese. A drizzle of balsamic reduction will leave you coming back for more.
10 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
- 1 bunch of kale, stems removed
- 1 head of Romain, chopped
- 1 pint of fresh figs, about 5-6, sliced
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 3-4 crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 1-2 oz plain goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar or honey - if using honey add a little less
- Start by mixing the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and mix until all of the sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until vinegar has reduce by half. About 20 minutes. You will know it is done when the reduction coats the back of a spoon. It will thicken as it cools.
- While the reduction is simmering, tear the kale leaves into bite size pieces and put in a bowl. Lightly salt them
- Massage the leaves by scrunching them in handfuls. Do this until the kale turns a darker shade of green and gets fragrant.
- Mix in the chopped Romain, onions and mushrooms.
- Gently mix in the figs and top with crumbled goat cheese.
- Serve with cooled balsamic reduction.
Keep leftovers stored separately. The fig and kale salad will keep in an air tight container in the fridge for about 1-2 days. I store the leftover balsamic reduction in a mason jar for up to one week in the fridge.