Making your own salad dressing is an easy way to save money and feel good about eating a vinaigrette that you can pronounce all the ingredients. Toss everything in a blender or food processor and instantly you have the perfect salad topper.
In California there is a great selection of fresh figs. All unfamiliar like I most of my life, this is a fruit, and doesn’t just come as a puree surrounded by a thin layer of cake. The purple produce was calling my name from the refrigerated section at the grocery store this week. I realize not everyone lives in sunny CA, so dried figs plumped in water for a few minutes will work fine (skip the roasting step). They make the dressing oh so creamy, and add a perfect touch of sweetness.
If you are looking for a new tasty salad give this one a try. Layer a plate of mixed greens, grilled chicken breast, chopped walnuts, feta cheese and red onion slices, then drizzle with fig dressing. Add a few fresh, or dried figs to your plate as well. All the flavors just work, like an unexpected food symphony in your mouth. (Ok, cheesy description but I thought it worked here.)
Great healthy marinade as well; place 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a glass dish or zip top bag, pour whole recipe fig dressing over and coat well. Refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Shake off excess, and grill on an oiled grilled or pan fry in a skillet.
FIG & HONEY BALSAMIC DRESSING or MARINADE
makes 1 ½ cups
- 7 FRESH FIGS, cut into quarters, (or dried, reconstituted)
- 5 tsp HONEY, PURE or RAW, (divided)
- 1 FRESH ORANGE, juiced
- 1/4 cup BALSAMIC VINEGAR*
- 1/3 cup OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN
- 1/4-1/2 tsp GARLIC POWDER
- SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
*Gluten-Free Option: make sure your balsamic vinegar product is GF.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove stem and cut figs into quarters. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, layer figs on top and drizzle with 2 tsp honey and sea salt. Roast in oven for about 8-10 minutes, until caramelized. Remove from oven, let cool to touch.
2. In a blender combine roasted figs, balsamic vinegar, fresh orange juice, garlic, 3 tsp honey (more or less to taste), salt and pepper; pulse for a few seconds until incorporated. Pour in olive oil and puree until smooth. Makes about 1 1/2 cups dressing. Serving size: about 2 Tbsp dressing.
NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: 60 calories, 4g fat, 6g carb, 1g fiber, 5g sugar, 0g protein
FRIDAY FUNNY: WEIGHT LOSS
The biggest loser at my weight-loss club was an elderly woman. “How’d you do it?” we asked. “Easy,” she said. Every night I take my teeth out at six o’clock.” —Cathy J. Schreima (published in Reader’s Digest)