This recipe is a life saver when you’re wondering what to do with slightly over-ripe figs😁, but feel free to make it with perfectly fresh figs too! Its quick to put together and makes a great light lunch / side salad. Key flavor components are caramelized figs and pears for sweetness, a balsamic vinaigrette to balance it out and bits of salty ricotta to make it pop!
Recipe: Grilled Fig & Pear Salad
- No special equipment needed!
For the Salad
- 3 cups Salad Leaves [do not pack the cup while measuring; this is roughly about 150 gms]
- 1 medium sized Cucumber [peeled, de-seeded, slit down the middle and sliced into half inch thick pieces]
- 1 Pear [thinly sliced]
- ⅓ cup Mint Leaves
- 4 – 5 Fresh Figs
- 1 – 2 tsps Butter
- 2 – 3 tsps Water
- ⅓ cup Ricotta
- 2 tbs chopped Walnuts
For the Vinaigrette
- 1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 3 tsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt [to taste]
- Freshly Ground Pepper [to taste]
- Wash, dry and quarter the figs. Add the butter to a preferably non stick pan and allow it to melt. Place the figs in the pan, with one of the fleshy sides down, and allow them to roast on low heat till they begin to go brown. Then gently flip them over to roast the other sides. When done remove from the hot pan and allow them to rest on a plate so that they don’t cook any further. Add 2 – 3 tsps of water to the hot pan and swirl it around while still on the heat,the de-glaze the pan2 and will only take a a few seconds. Turn the heat off once you’ve gathered all the caramelized bits into the liquid.
- To make the vinaigrette: combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl; whisk until it emulsifies. Add the de-glazed remnants from the pan the figs were cooked in and whisk again.
- Wash, dry and tear the salad leaves1 into bite sized pieces. Peel and chop the cucumber as indicated in the instructions table. Slice the pear as thinly as you can.
- Now for the assembly: Start by combining the salad leaves, cucumber, pear and mint leaves in a mixing bowl and toss along with most of the dressing. Reserve just about a tsp of the dressing for later.
- Place these tossed greens at the bottom of your serving platter/ bowl and layer the figs on top.
- Next, intersperse bits of ricotta3 (each bit to be about half a tsp) between the figs and salad leaves . Drizzle the reserved vinaigrette over.
- Finally top with crunchy chopped walnuts and serve!
1A darker, more robust salad leaf works best in this salad, as it balances out the richness of the figs and ricotta well. I’ve used arugula, but baby spinach should work well too!
2You can always skip the deglaze step and keep the vinaigrette really simple, but it only takes a minute more, so why not?
3I used homemade ricotta, but you can always substitute store bought, or even crumble some really fresh paneer over instead!
Here’s a quick play-by-play of the recipe:
Give this a shot the next time you see figs at your local fruit store/ grocers and let me know how it turned out in the comments below🖖
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