A couple of weeks ago at the farm market, there were figs. I love the way figs taste but I also love that they remind me of growing up in Queens. Our Italian neighbors across the back fence grew some pretty neat stuff, wine grapes was one, and fig trees were another. Every summer, they had figs on their trees they grew in pots on their patio and would hand over the fence a big bowl for us. We sat at the picnic table biting and chewing the figs. Then later in the fall they took big burlap rugs or cloth and wound it around each tree to try and keep it alive for another winter. They lasted a few years, but the NY winters were rough on the fig trees.
We found the last container of figs at Anderson Orchards. The farmer said he’d have more, but we didn’t have time to go back since we went on vacation. When I asked how he kept the trees alive over the winter since they are a kind of tender tree in Ohio, he said he has a tunnel over about 60 trees but he doesn’t heat it, just keeps a cover over top of them. I wish I had time to go back for more figs.
We also bought some local honey from Honeyrun Farm in Williamsport, which I thought would go well with a balsamic vinaigrette over the salad. We had Black Corinthe grapes on hand, sweet tiny grapes called champagne grapes sometimes and really delicious soft cheese. The salad was missing pecans or walnuts to go in the salad this time. Toasted nuts would have made the salad fantastic. This was a really good dinner salad, but would also make a good salad course. Enjoy.
- Salad greens
- 12 figs
- 2 oz Pancetta
- 4 oz very fresh soft goat cheese or sheepsmilk cheese
- ½ cup champagne grapes
- ¼ cup pecans
- 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbs honey
- 4 tbs olive oil
- Chop pancetta and then saute pancetta in a pan until crispy.
- Drain on paper towel, wipe pan mostly clean.
- Halve the figs and heat face down on pan, then flip and do the other side.
- Remove figs to bowl.
- Toast pecans in pan and remove to small plate
- Add the dressing ingredients into the pan and swirl around, then whisk into small bowl.
- Rinse and drain salad greens.
- Place Salad Greens on place.
- Sprinkle pancetta over top.
- Place figs around the salad greens.
- Using a spoon scoop out dollops of cheese and place around the plate.
- Rinse dry and sprinkle grapes around the plate.
- Sprinkle pecans around the salad greens.
- Re-whisk dressing and pour over salad.