This is so easy I am a bit embarrassed to even post it, but then I would also have to admit to eating a whole box of figs in one week. Yes fresh figs are my weakness, I think partly because they bring back such fond family memories. I remember holidays in Italy with my parents, finding fresh figs at the local market and eating them wrapped around parma ham, it felt so decadent. Sweet, salty and simple and a whole mouthful of delicous flavour. I love how well they work in seemingly unusual combinations.
Figs are an ancient fruit and properly one of the earliest fruits we cultivated. The fig flesh is actually the inverted flower of the fig tree. Maybe that is what makes them so magical the fact that you are eating a flower and not a fruit.
Like all fruit and vegetables figs are rich in antioxidants especially polyphenols. Antioxidants are really the best health insurance policy you can eat because they help keep the immune system strong and can therefore prevent disease and slow down ageing. Eat them fresh if you can but when dried their nutrient density and antioxidant properties are even greater. Fresh or dried they are wonderful at keeping our bowels regular, a cornerstone of good health.
Here is a simple fig salad I made last week when I came across my box of figs, the key here is the black pepper. This salad is so simple it lets the ingredients shine and star of the show are figs so make it with the very best figs you can find. Sweet and ripe.
What you Need
Cream cheese or chèvre rolled in black paper
1 - 2 figs
EVO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
Tear up the rocket leaves and put onto a plate, finely slice the radish and sprinkle on top. Tear up the figs and place on salad leaves. I like to take the skin off but you can leave the skin on but make sure to wash them well if leaving skin on. Cut up some of the cheese and add to the salad. Sprinkle with a little balsamic vinegar and pour over olive oil. That's it, if you don't have cream cheese or chèvre you can use feta and add a generous grind of black pepper onto the figs.