Kastor’s Kitchen: Roasted Fig Salad

This simple dish is a seasonal favorite of the American record holder in the marathon.

Written by: Deena Kastor

This time of year, figs are appearing in our markets. Their season is short, but I take advantage of it by finding a place for figs on the table. This salad is a seasonal favorite.

  • 8 fresh figs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon warm water
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 8 ounces of Gorgonzola cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 400 degrees or heat outdoor grill. Cut off tops of figs. Lightly brush figs with olive oil, stuff with a raspberry-sized piece of Gorgonzola cheese and place on baking sheet. In a bowl, combine honey and water; mix well. Brush tops of figs with honey (reserving most of it for vinaigrette) and sprinkle with chili flakes. Place in oven or on hot grill for 5-8 minutes or until cheese in figs is melted.

Squeeze lemon juice over remaining honey mixture. In a large bowl, place greens and drizzle with olive oil just before serving. Add lemon/honey mixture and toss well. Divide greens onto four plates. Garnish each salad with two figs and a large chunk of cheese.

Optional: This is a side salad; but if you choose to make it a main course, this recipe will feed two. Simply add toasted walnuts or fried and chopped pancetta for some added protein. If you want a fun appetizer, just follow the directions for roasting the cheese-stuffed figs and serve them solo on a platter.

Fuel up: Figs are exceptional in the fruit world for their mineral content. They are high in calcium, potassium and magnesium to help build bone strength and aid in muscle contraction. If you suffer from muscle cramping, make sure you indulge in some figs at your next meal.

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