July 2015 Fig Focus

Keep Cool with Sensational Summer Salads

Chopped Salad with Figs, Bacon and Smoked Turkey

When buying the turkey for this salad, ask the deli to slice it into a 1/2-inch thick slab so that you can easily cut it into 1/2-inch pieces.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

8 slices bacon, chopped

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2
 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 
shallot, minced

1 
tablespoon Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper

2 
romaine lettuce hearts (12 ounces), torn into bite-size pieces

1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Figs, stemmed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces

8 ounces deli smoked turkey breast, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

4 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

Directions

Cook bacon in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Whisk oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in large bowl. Add crisp bacon, lettuce, figs, turkey, and cheese and toss to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide among individual plates or transfer to serving platter and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Cook’s Country from America’s Test Kitchen. Valley Fig Growers is a proud sponsor of Cook’s Country TV.

Fig and Wild Rice Chicken Salad

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

1/2 cup long grain brown rice

1/2 cup wild rice

8 ounces Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Figs, stemmed and quartered

3/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt

1/2 cup sliced green onion

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2-2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon each grated lemon peel and pepper

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Directions

In medium saucepan, bring 2 1/4 cups water to a boil. Add brown and wild rice. Cover and reduce heat to low; cook 55 minutes until water is absorbed and rice is done. Cool. In large bowl, combine yogurt and next six ingredients. Stir in rice, chicken, walnuts and figs. Refrigerate until serving.

Spinach Salad with Pecans, Pears, Figs and Blue Cheese

Makes 8 servings.

Ingredients

Dressing:

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup light olive oil

Salad:

6 ounces baby spinach leaves
2 fresh, ripe green or red pears, cored and chopped
1 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Calimyrna Figs, stemmed and quartered
2/3 cup pecan halves, toasted
3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

Directions

For dressing, combine lemon juice, soy sauce and sugar; whisk in oil until blended. To serve salad, combine spinach, pears, figs, and pecan halves. Drizzle with dressing and toss. Top with blue cheese and serve.

Make Ahead Tip: The dressing can be made days ahead and refrigerated. Spinach does not wilt as quickly as lettuce, so the salad can be made about 20 minutes ahead, however, add chopped pears just before serving.

#VFigFeed – Feed Us Figs Instagram Photo Contest

Show us how you get figgy–snap a photo with figs (fresh, dried, or fig spread) in your prepared dish of food at home or in a restaurant. Follow @valleyfig and tag your photo @valleyfig and #VFigFeed for a chance to win a trip on September 22 to a taping of Cook’s Country in Vermont. You can encourage friends and followers to vote for your photo. Valley Fig will select the winning photo based on merit.

When: July 15 (8 AM PST)–August 17 (8 AM PST)

Who: Anyone over the age of 18 in the 48 contiguous United States

“Try ‘Em, You’ll Like ‘Em” Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Take steps every day to live a safe and healthy life. So far in 2015 we’ve offered tips to:

Be a healthy role model

Choose healthy fats

Make sensible snacks a part of your plan

Wise Up

Make Minerals Mighty

Use a grocery list for a healthy weight

For July, our healthy tip is—slow down. Studies suggest that people who chew slower consume fewer calories. Eating more slowly helps you feel more satisfied and gives your brain time to recognize when you’re full. Also, foods that are chewed more are easier to absorb and digest.

Whole foods, like California Figs, naturally require more chewing and are healthier. Processed foods, on the other hand, are just that, processed. Look for whole foods, like fruits and vegetables, which are plentiful during the summer. Fresh figs are available during the summer and early fall months and dried figs are available all year round. Savor, enjoy and chew every flavorful bite!

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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