Temperatures may be dropping in the rest of the country, but in my little neck of the farmlands, they’re still between 80-90, even pushing 100. Definitely won’t be seeing the leaves change colors anytime soon. And because it still feels like summer, even though we celebrated Labor Day weeks ago, it’s still perfectly acceptable to throw together a quick salad for dinner, especially after a long and frustrating day at work.
I recently read a post by Carly of “Tart to Heart” about her fresh fig almond cake. Inspired, I walked over to Safeway to purchase my own figs, but all I could find was dried. I threw them in my cart anyway, paid for the groceries, and broke open the bag to try one the minute I got home.
Now the last time I had figs was as a seven-year-old in Fig Newtons, so my first bite immediately transported me back to those childhood memories. But I wanted something different, something besides the flavors of that stereotypical cookie. And since I already planned on tossing together a salad, it just seemed too perfect to make these figs the star of the show.
Fig and Cheese Salad
Although it seems strange, cream cheese really does work in a salad! Its savory taste complements the slightly sweet figs, and when balanced out with the tangy balsamic dressing, makes for a wonderful salad, any time of the year. Croutons may be substituted for the granola topping.
2 cups spinach
2 tbsp balsamic salad dressing
4 dried mission figs, finely chopped
2 tbsp block-style Neûfchatel or fat-free cream cheese, split into 1/4 tsp bits
2 tbsp crunchy granola
- Gather half of the spinach into a tight handful, and chop into thin strips by slicing through the leaves horizontally. Add to a medium bowl. Repeat with the remaining spinach.
- Add salad dressing to the spinach, and toss until all of the leaves are coated.
- Add the figs, reserving 1/2 tbsp, and toss again to combine. Plate the salad, and top with the reserved figs, cream cheese, and granola.