Fig Salad Dressed with Balsamic Vinaigrette

fig salad

Figs are not something that appear on my table very often, and the reason surely must be because the fig season seems so dearly short. It is certainly not about the sweet and unique taste they contribute to dishes, especially salads such as this balsamic dressed one with bitter radicchio, fresh basil and peppery watercress. This is a bold salad that can be enjoyed year round as a bit of hunting in even modest size cities will result in figs to adorn this dish. In this case, these figs were imported from Israel and I had no reason to complain about freshness, despite the fact they were imported from overseas.

fig salad dressed with balsamic

This recipe is inspired by one of my latest cookbook acquisitions. Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking is a follow up to Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. Both books are vegetarian and feature stunning creations that are for the most part easy to make and always delicious. I enthusiastically display a few of Ottolenghi's beautiful books on my shelf, and although the other two books are not strictly vegetarian, there are plenty of offerings for vegetarians and vegans within the covers complete with photos that tempt one to preserve the books as coffee table browsing. That would however be a shame because the recipes deserve to be explored in the kitchen and served up at the table. Impressive, always, with middle eastern flare and loaded with plenty of vegetables.

fig salad with mixed vegetables

Fig Salad Dressed with Balsamic VinaigretteFig Salad Dressed with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Recipe by
Adapted from Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London's Ottolenghi
Published on November 4, 2014

A simple salad of bold contrasts in color, texture and flavor with soft sweet figs, crunchy radicchio and toasted walnuts, and tender leaves of sweet basil and peppery watercress dressed in a robust herbed balsamic vinaigrette

Print this recipePrint this recipe

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1/3 cup raw walnuts
  • leaves from 1 small head of radicchio, coarsely torn
  • 1 1/3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 1/3 cups watercress leaves
  • 6 to 8 ripe figs, cut into wedges
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • Preheat an oven to 425°.

  • Peel the onion and halve lengthwise, then cut each half into wedges. Toss the wedges with 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil, a bit of salt and some black pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring at least once during roasting, until the onions are soft and golden and just begin to turn crispy on the edges. Cool and separate the onions into bite size pieces. Set aside.

  • Meanwhile, toast the walnuts in a small unoiled skillet over medium-low heat for 6 to 8 minutes, tossing frequently, until lightly toasted and fragrant. Set aside.

  • Mix together the radicchio, basil and watercress.

  • To make the dressing, whisk together the oil and vinegars, cinnamon, herbs, and salt and black pepper to taste. Taste and adjust.

  • To assemble the salad, arrange some of the mixed radicchio, basil and watercress on plates. Top with a few pieces of fig and some roasted onion. Add a few more leaves to the plate, along with more fig and onion. Drizzle some dressing over the salad and garnish with some walnuts.

Makes 4 servings

fig salad

This is my submission to Bookmarked Recipes, hosted this month by Fuss Free Flavors and administered by my dear friend Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes. I'm also sharing with No Croutons Required, a vegetarian soup and salad event alternately hosted by Jac and myself. I'm hosting this month.

More stunning salads to enjoy from Lisa's Kitchen:
Fig Salad with Fresh Basil, Arugula, Goat Cheese and a Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Lentil Salad with Walnuts, Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Toasted Nuts and Polenta Croutons
Avocado Greek Salad

On the top of the reading stack: Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee--A Look Inside North Korea by Jang Jin-Sung

Audio Accompaniment: sweet morning silence


Joanne said...

I adore figs and this immediately caught my eye in Plenty More. Too bad they're not still in season!

janet @ the taste space said...

Looks great. I haven't tried anything yet from it but the cookbook sounds delicious, as always!

Carole said...

Hi Lisa, great low carb dish! How about adding it to the Food on Friday: Low Carb collection over at Carole's Chatter? Cheers