My Favourite

fig salad

Last week was exhausting. Between working back, a few late nights, feeling the beginnings of a cold and then having to work on my day off, by the time the end of the week came around I really, really understood the meaning of the age-old saying “TGIF!” But on the way to work on Friday, I had a little stickybeak at the Rocks Markets and found figs – gorgeous dark purple figs, which I bought without a second thought.

I usually try not to impulse buy fruit and vegetables without a clear idea of what I’m going to do with them, but I just couldn’t resist these figs. It was especially exciting because Nanna’s fig tree had a poor yield this season, with the wet, humid weather and the birds who got to them before we could! So I wanted to show them off in the simplest way possible, and what better than a seasonal salad, just perfect for this time of year.

Figs and hazelnuts seem to be best friends, and they are one of my favourite flavour combinations. I simply roasted the nuts in the oven for a few minutes so I could easily remove the skins. The recipe that inspired the salad had a balsamic reduction, in which you cook down some balsamic vinegar until it’s thick. I skipped this step, but next time I might try it. I also couldn’t find any hazelnut oil so I substituted with macadamia oil, which is more readily available.

I feel a little silly actually giving a recipe for this, because it’s so simple, but it’s more a set of instructions for assembling it. You could serve this on it’s own as a light lunch or a starter, or as I did as a side dish to a gorgeous prosciutto and quince paste wrapped chicken breast, which was delicious.

Fig and Hazelnut Salad
Recipe inspired by Notebook magazine
Serves 1 (but easily scaled up)

For each person
• Large handful of mixed greens or watercress, rinsed and patted dry
• 2-3 figs, torn in half
• 5-6 hazelnuts
• Macadamia Oil and Balsamic Vinegar

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Place hazelnuts in a shallow metal baking dish and roast for 5 minutes. Place warm hazelnuts in a clean tea towel and rub with your hands to remove the skins. This is more easily done when they are still warm.
2. In a bowl or on a plate, assemble the lettuce and the torn figs on top. Scatter over the hazelnuts, dress with macadamia oil and balsamic vinegar and serve.

11 Comments on “My Favourite”

  1. natalie

    Oh, I love figs. I probably would have eaten them plain, but the salad looks yummy too. I want to try the balsamic reduction too, so if you do make sure to blog about it!

  2. pea & pear

    I never ever peel figs…infact, I thank them every time I eat them for being so considerate to create themselves in a way which allows me to eat them as is.
    This salad looks divine..delish x x

  3. Lisa

    Miss Honey, haha I would love to find more! they are one of my favourite fruits.

    Natalie, I ate a fair few of them plain don't worry!

    Pea&Pear, they are indeed perfect! thanks 🙂

  4. Howard

    I think I’ve mentioned it before, we also had a poor season of figs. To get rid of the birds we put a huge net over the top of it, it kind of worked but the birds still try their hand at destroying them :/

  5. Katie

    You know what? Impulse-buying fruit is a very GOOD thing – at least it’s not chocolate! 😛

    I must admit I have never tried figs before – probably because of the name. It just doesn’t sound appealing to me. Maybe I will try them – the salad looks quite delicious.

    Oh and I hope you don’t get a cold. I’m just recovering from the second hit in a week and it’s just not any fun.

  6. Manggy

    Oh noooo! I feel totally deprived here. I don’t know what figs taste like! (And when I was in the States, they weren’t in season either.) They do look lovely in your salad, though 🙂
    These days, I think the correct cheer is “TGFW!” (Thank God for work!) ;P

  7. Lisa

    Howard, my Nanna’s tree is so huge that even with ladders we couldn’t get the net all the way over it! I think it needs a haircut soon. My Nanna also has pomegranates and it’s not the birds but the bats that get into them. Saw one with a hole right through it still hanging on the tree!

    Katie, you have a good point! I think they have a nice taste but they’re maybe not for everyone. You can eat them completely raw or use them in sweet and savoury dishes.

    Lorraine, I do like making plans once the fruit has been acquired but more often than not I can’t decide!

    Arwen, thank you. Impulse buying isn’t that bad now is it ?

    Mark, I hope you get to try them one day! Maybe you’ll visit Australia next haha 🙂

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