August 2017 Fig Focus

Pickled California Fig Summer Salad with Farro, Nuts and Seeds

August is prime time for picnics, barbeques and outdoor gatherings that call for cool, sharable salads. Of course, you could make potato salad or coleslaw, but how about something new to grab the crowd’s attention? This salad stars quickly pickled Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, greens and a variety of seasonal and crunchy ingredients. The pickled California Figs are made with golden balsamic vinegar, mustard seed, and fresh dill sprigs. Olive oil and more dill are whisked into the pickling liquid for the dressing.

Cooked grains are the new crouton – so we included a sprinkle of nutty-tasting farro, an ancient type of wheat. We wanted more “nutty” flavor, so we also included toasted pecans and sunflower seeds. Add some sliced green or red onion if you like, and switch up the add-in ingredients according to your taste.  

Trim and slice figs. Combine pickling ingredients.

Chill for 1 hour.

Combine salad ingredients and drizzle with dressing.

Serve on salad plates or large platter.

Pickled California Fig Summer Salad with Farro, Nuts and Seeds

Serves 6

Pickled California Figs and Dressing:

  • 1 cup Blue Ribbon® Orchard Choice® or Sun-Maid® California Figs
  • 1/2 cup golden or white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 to 4 sprigs fresh dill
  • ½ lemon, cut into wedges
  • 4 small bay leaves
  • 4 teaspoons yellow mustard seed
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Salad:

  • 12 cups (9 ounces) mixed salad greens
  • ¾ cup cooked farro, barley or wheat berries
  • 1 medium nectarine or peach, pitted and sliced
  • ½ cup thinly sliced radishes
  • ½ cup chopped, toasted pecans
  • 1/3 cup roasted sunflower seeds

To make Pickled California Figs, trim stems from figs and discard. Cut each fig lengthwise into 3 slices. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine vinegar, water, dill sprigs, lemon, bay leaves, mustard seed, sugar and ½ teaspoon salt.  Cover and bring to a gentle boil. Remove from heat, uncover and stir in figs. Cool, stirring occasionally. Chill for 1 hour.

Remove fig slices from vinegar mixture and set aside. Remove bay leaves, lemon wedges and dill sprigs from vinegar mixture and discard.  To make Dressing, whisk olive oil into vinegar mixture. Stir in chopped dill. If desired, add more salt and pepper, to taste.

To serve salad, in a large bowl combine greens, pickled Figs, farro, nectarine, radishes, pecans and sunflower seeds. Drizzle dressing over salad. Toss gently.

Serve on salad plates or a large platter.

Lorelle Del Matto, MS, RDN, is a nutrition and culinary professional who combines a passion for food (and California Figs) with a quest for nutrition knowledge. She believes well designed and tested recipes can be great communication tools. Lorelle has a Master’s of Science in nutrition biology and is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Lorelle developed her culinary skills in France at La Varenne, Ecole de Cuisine. You can find more recipes and healthy lifestyle tips to inspire you to “savor the art of healthy eating” on her website lorelledelmatto.com and on Twitter and Facebook.

Looking Forward to Labor Day with California Figs

Planning a Labor Day gathering around the grill? Wanting to make the most of outdoor meet-ups before summer’s gone? We’ve been looking to some of our California Fig friends for some serious inspiration that will make your menu sizzle. Start with Grilled Pork Chops with California Fig Honey Glaze from Karyl’s Kulinary Kreations. Save room for something sweet and tune in to Pastry Chef Online’s cooking demo on Facebook showing how to make No-Churn Chocolate Caramel Ice Cream with California Fig Swirl!

Nutrition Tips and Tid Bits

When you’re looking for just the right combination of foods to give you that energy boost, follow the advice of the experts at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Figs are one of the highest fiber-rich fruits packed with carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals and a great choice to help Balance Your Plate. For Snacks As a Bridge, dark purple Missions and amber-colored Goldens deliver that important dietary fiber and wide array of essential nutrients. Portable, naturally sweet, convenient and so popular, California Figs are always ready to eat. Spread the word and share some good nutrition with friends and family.  

Eating to Boost Energy

The right combinations of food can give you a boost. Follow these five strategies to maximize your energy.

Eat Often
Eating every three to four hours can help to fuel a healthy metabolism, maintain muscle mass and prevent between-meal hunger that can lead to unwise snacking.

Honor Your Hunger and Fullness Cues
Eating just enough, but not too much, helps to curb cravings and reduces chances of overeating.

Balance Your Plate
A balanced meal includes whole grains, lean protein, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, fat-free or low-fat dairy and a small amount of healthy fats.

Snacks Are a Bridge
Don’t skip this important eating event. Snacks should have protein and fiber-rich carbohydrates to provide lasting energy.

Remove Energy Zappers
Skip the soda, sugary coffee and energy drinks. These foods may leave you buzzing for an hour, but likely will cause an energy crash.

www.eatright.org

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

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