This is really just a simple salad that is topped with some lovingly prepared figs. The figs are marinaded and then baked in a fluid that will, after it is reduced, become the dressing for the salad. This simple, sweet and sour glaze sets off the intense rich flavor of the baked figs. We typically top this type of salad with either some really sharp blue cheese or Gorgonzola. Almonds provide a great addition, particularly if you take the time to dress them with salt, oil and dried rosemary.
I hate to write and dash, but there is really not much to say about this one. One piece of advice is to use cast iron to bake the figs; you will get a little bit of char and caramelization…perfect. Also make sure to reserve the liquid at each step (marinade, then bake) so that you can reduce it into a lovely glaze later on. In order to reduce the liquid, transfer it to a sauce pan and boil the crap out of it. When it starts to thicken, remove it from heat, transfer it to another bowl and let it cool. No sense in wilting your lovely salad by being hasty. Well, there is one last piece of guidance I can provide; cook this, then eat it…it’s really, really good.
- 6 figs, halved
- ½ cup cider
- 2 Tsp. Olive Oil
- 1 Tbs. honey
- ½ tsp. salt
- Mixed greens, such as spinach, leaf lettuce, mizzuna
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup thinly sliced cucumber
- ¼ sweet bell pepper, sliced
- 1 ripe tomato
- sliced almonds for garnish
- 1 oz. Gorgonzola, crumbled
- In a small bowl, combine vinegar, honey, and salt. Pour over halved figs and set aside to marinade for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Coat medium cast iron skillet with the olive oil and place figs, cut side down, in bottom. Pour marinade over figs and bake in a 425 degree F oven for 8 to 12 minutes.
- Remove figs from skillet and allow to cool.
- Reduce marinade fluid over high heat until it forms a thin syrup. Set aside to cool so it can be used as a dressing.
- Using remaining ingredients, prepare individual salads and arrange figs on top. Drizzle with thickened marinade and garnish with almond and Gornonzola.