Fresh Israeli figs
I was thrilled when I popped across the road to the supermarket to find figs. They are one of my favourite fruits but have such a short season, so I’ll buy them whenever I see them. The ones I bought today were from Israel – so I’ll have to eat them within a day or two because they don’t keep for too long and they’ve travelled a long way. Guess one of the downsides of living in a tiny island like Singapore is that you can’t get local produce.
If you buy figs, just keep in mind that they don’t ripen once they have been picked from the tree so make sure you select fruit that are a rich deep purple colour, plump and soft to the touch with unbroken skin. And as with most fruit, smell them. If they smell sweet – buy them ! If there is no smell, you can still buy them, just don’t plan on eating them fresh (you could halve them, drizzle them with honey and roast them, served with a good dollop of creme fraiche or marscapone) and if they smell sour, they’re past their due date.
When I lived in Sydney you could usually buy figs for a few weeks so I had the luxury of cooking many fig dishes – one of my favourites being a blue cheese and fig salad. Simply sprinkle fresh quartered figs over a bed of spinach, crumble blue cheese on top (you could substitute goats cheese) with some toasted walnuts and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Today though, I am going to make one of my favourite fig salads – fig and tuna salad.
Fresh fig and seared tuna salad
- 6-8 figs quartered
- sashimi grade tuna – about 400g
- 2 tbs fennel seeds
- 1 tbs coarsely cracked black pepper
- 1 tbs coarse sea salt
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 4 large handfuls of rocket
- 2-3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 tbs lemon juice
- lemon wedges to serve
- Combine the fennel seeds, black pepper and salt and place on a flat plate
- Cut the tuna into 5cm square strips
- Coat the tuna with the fennel seed/pepper/salt mix
- Heat olive oil in a pan. Sear the tuna strips on all sides for 1 minute on each side – it should be rare inside. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes
- Thinly slice the tuna and arrange with the figs on top of the rocket. Dress with olive oil and lemon juice
- Serve immediately
A variation which is even more simple is to top a bed of rocket with quartered figs and layer some prosciutto on top.