Figs leaves were used to cover up the (ahem) private parts of Adam and Eve, but I believe I’ve got a better use for them – add them to a salad with roasted sweet potato wedges and dressed with a balsamic glaze. (I’m talking about using the fruit of the fig, of course, not the fig leaf).
Looking back on my childhood, I associated figs with Fig Newton cookies and I must admit I was more fond of laying into a Hostess Twinkie than into a Fig Newton. But figs are my hero in this salad: their plump ripeness goes well with the slight tartness of the balsamic reduction and the roasted sweet potato wedges.
And, oh, I believe that Cleopatra was also fond of figs ….
- 1 sweet potato (~ 400 kg)
- 3 tbsp olive oil (to coat sweet potato)
- 3 spring onions
- 1 red chili, sliced thinly
- 3 ripe figs, quartered
- 150 g soft goat’s cheese (optional)
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp fine sugar
- Salad Greens
- Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F).
- Cut the sweet potato into wedges about ½ inch wide. Coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place wedges skin-side down on baking tray and roast for about 20 minutes, or until soft but still firm. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Halve the spring onions lengthwise then cut into 1.5 inch segments. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in small saucepan, add the spring onion and chili slices and cook for several minutes until vegetables are soft.
- To prepare the balsamic glaze, heat the balsamic vinegar and sugar together in a saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat and let simmer for several minutes until the liquid thickens (but should be runnier than honey).
- To finish, place the salad greens on a platter and arrange the sweet potato pieces on top. Next, spoon the spring onion and chili pieces over the sweet potatoes. Arrange the fig pieces among the potato wedges and drizzle with the balsamic glaze. Sprinkle the crumbled goat’s cheese around the platter before serving.