Baked fig and walnut salad

I love to create salads that can be a little more than a side dish. If you add some more substantial ingredients to a basic salad with leaves and some tomatoes, then you open up a whole new world of grain free, healthy eating. More complex salads, when paired with some quality protein, make a great meal and can serve you well for work lunches for example.

Incorporating a few figs into your diet every now and then is a great idea. They are a good source of essential minerals, including magnesium, calcium, copper, and potassium, as well as vitamin K and B6. They are a fairly concentrated source of natural sugars which are fine in small dose, but if you are dealing with any kind of metabolic disease (insulin resistance, diabetes) so just don’t go too crazy on these tasty snacks.

My baked fig and walnut salad is best served as a warm salad. It uses delicious ingredients that work superbly together. Fig, walnut and honey are always a winning combination and make the perfect accompaniment to any meat or fish. Try this in the summer when you’re entertaining guests. Although I doubt there will be any leftovers of this baked fig and walnut salad – it’s simply too good!

10

minutes prepation

20

minutes cooking

4

servings

Ingredients

  • 75g bag spinach (approx 3/4 a small bag)
  • 30g rocket (approx 1/4 a small bag)
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 10 -15 walnuts (depending on how you want the texture of your salad)
  • 6 dried figs
  • 1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 honey

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Place the figs, walnuts, red pepper and tomato on a baking tray. Drizzle the tomatoes with a dash of balsamic vinegar then cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey in a cup and mix together gently. Obviously the ingredients won’t combine properly, but it’s good to have them slightly mixed.
  4. Place the spinach and rocket in a bowl or on a large platter if you want to display this nicely.
  5. After 20 minutes remove the ingredients from the oven. Immediately place the pepper in a plastic bag to sweat.
  6. Use a large knife to roughly chop the walnuts.
  7. Once the pepper has sweated for a few minutes remove from the bag and attempt to remove the skin. Don’t be too fussy though, it won’t negatively impact the flavour of the salad. Slice into thin strips.
  8. Assemble the salad by arranging the halved cherry tomatoes, sliced pepper, chopped walnuts and whole baked figs in a bowl or on platter. Drizzle with the prepared dressing and enjoy.
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