It wasn't until my senior year of college that I first tried figs. I happened upon them at a little grocer in the SF Ferry Building, and having heard of them but never tasted them, decided to buy a little basket of the expensive fruit. Well, actually they're a flower--isn't that so weirdly interesting?
I was hooked on their sweet flavor right away. Now nearly 10 years later, I continue to seek them out each summer and savor their sweet flavor before their short season ends. This year I bought several baskets at Whole Foods, but stupidly tried to make them last for a week since the closest Whole Foods is about 40 miles away. Most of them turned moldy and gross a few days later and I learned my lesson- figs must be eaten right away!
The husband, who doesn't get excited about food the way I do, and definitely has never cared about figs before, is in love with this salad. So much so that he requested it for breakfast one weekend morning. :) There is something about the play of flavors here that is just so right. So much so in fact, that we're planning on eating it again this week and as many more times as we can fit in before figs are gone for another year.
PS: The recipe as written calls for 16 ounces of figs. I just buy a basket, or a clamshell (Fresh and Easy), of whatever variety I can find and use all of them.
Roasted Fig Flatbread Salad with Goat Cheese Spread
Source: slightly adapted from Annie's Eats
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 Tablespoon butter
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
16 ounces fresh figs, stemmed and halved
4 ounces plain goat cheese, slightly softened
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of honey
Baby spring mix, or other salad greens
Heat the oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the butter and the onions and reduce the heat to low. Stir gently, cooking the onions until they are soft, golden brown, and caramelized; about 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Set the figs, cut side up, on a baking sheet or glass baking pan. Lightly sprinkle the figs with brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven 10-15 minutes, until softened and juicy. Do not over bake them!
Meanwhile, mix the goat cheese, milk and honey together in a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment until smooth and fluffy.
Heat the flatbreads in the oven for about 2-3 minutes. Let them cool for about 3-5 minutes. (I heat them while the figs are in the middle of roasting, in order to give them time to cool off a bit.)
Spread the flatbreads with the goat cheese mixture, top with the greens, caramelized onions, and figs. Serve right away and enjoy!
Note: I found it easier to eat these if I cut the flatbreads into four slices with a pizza cutter prior to toping them.