Grilled Fig Salad

Well here I am in Portland Oregon! The move went remarkably well and it feels really great to be here. This is my girl-meets-grill moment. One of the perks of our new apartment is that we can actually have a grill on the patio! I'm sure many of you have grills so it might not seem like anything to jump up and down over, however I've been a city dweller most of my life where even an outdoor area at all is considered a luxury. So this is my first time grilling, Hank Hill would be proud no doubt. The stove top grill pan I've been using will be retiring for the foreseeable future. At least until winter? 

Portland has an amazing farmers market on Saturdays at PSU. I'll be posting more on this in the coming weeks, It's an absolute dreamy farmers market. Jeff and I bought tons of squash, peppers, eggplant, and over the course of the week we grilled everything, "just grill it" has become our new motto. And they have Padron Peppers! I was so happy to see them there. The ones I wrote about a while back  were pan-fried, but this week they were skewered and grilled and tasted fantastic. We grilled our way to an empty vegetable bin by end of week. So I headed over to a market around the corner from our new place and when I spotting these mission figs in a cute little basket I couldn't resist. "just grill it" I thought, and I'm glad I did! I found this recipe on Whole Foods website. The dressing is really delicious, better than I expected. The brown sugar and cinnamon really enhance the figs. It's a very simple recipe and was glad as we're still restocking our cupboards here. When you move out of state you lose a lot of food items that won't keep through the journey. But the kitchen is shaping up now. And it has a window! I did a few lighting tests and although it's better than our kitchen in San Francisco, I'm realizing I really need to get a handle on my remote flash. However because of the larger area it's looking like a tripod will actually fit, so more light testing to be done down the road. Oh, and I have a new desk that will double for food photography! You can see it here. I hope you have a chance to try out this recipe, and if you know of some amazing grilling recipes just let me know in the comments section below or on my Facebook page. Hope you enjoy and it feels great to back to sharing this journey of food and photography!

Just Grill It!


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Grilled Fig Salad
(adapted from Whole Foods)

  • 4 large fresh Black Mission figs
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • Ground pepper, to taste
  • 8 cups mixed salad greens
  • Crumbled feta or blue cheese for topping

Snip the tiny stem end off each fig and cut in half lengthwise. Mix vinegar, brown sugar and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Add figs and gently toss to coat. Let marinate while you heat a grill (indoor or outdoor). 

If necessary, coat your grill with a little olive oil.* When ready, grill the figs, reserving all of the marinade in the bowl, for about 2 to 3 minutes per side or until grill marks appear. Do not overcook as the figs will become too mushy. Remove figs to a plate. 

To the reserved marinade add lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper, whisking well slowly pour olive oil to completely incorporate. 

Place greens in a large salad bowl. Toss with dressing, then divide among 4 individual serving plates. Place 2 fig halves on each plate of greens, top with cheese and serve.

*I skipped coating the grill with oil and they came out fine, but it may depend on your grill.