Roasted Figs, Chickpeas and Rocket Salad
Another seasonal salad to grace your dining table when the fresh figs are in season!
If there's only one thing I could grow in my kitchen garden, I'd choose rocket / arugula. For various reasons: I love this salad green full of punch and flavour. It is easy to grow and so tough to find this at all times in supermarkets. And when it is available, it is for a small fortune. I'd rather have arugula at my arm's reach at all times.
I ordered a kilo of figs from our regular grocery delivering service last week, and while some were ripe, most of them were still raw. I picked out the ripe ones, halved them and tossed them in a good glug of balsamic vinegar. The airfryer comes in handy when there is a small quantity to bake or roast. Placing the balsamic coated fig halves on a greased foil and 'airfrying' them for 5-7 minutes, made quick work of roasting the figs that released their delicious juices into the foil. Not being one to waste any traces of flavour, I added these juices into the dressing. Cooked chickpeas added a ton of protein and fiber to the salad, and you don't feel hungry within 30 minutes of eating this salad. Promise.
And here's the surprise, thepièce de résistance. The dry fruit chikki which a friend gifted us for Diwali, went on top as the salad as 'praline' - adding a much needed crunch and colour to the salad. So there my friends, that's how easy it is to put together a salad with whatever you have on hand. Just make sure you add a variety of colours, flavours and textures and you'll be on the right track.
- Roasting figs: Chop off the stems and halve the figs lengthwise. Take them in a bowl and toss in 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar. Place them in a single layer on lightly greased heavy duty aluminium foil. Roast them in a preheated airfryer (190 C) or oven (190C) for 5-7 minutes, until somewhat soft.
- Making the dressing: In a small bowl, take the juices from the roasted figs, extra virgin olive oil, 1-2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt and ground pepper to taste. Whisk well with a fork until thick and smooth.
- Preparing the chickpeas: In a pan, heat 1 tsp oil. Add a pinch of salt, crushed cumin, drained cooked chickpeas and toss well, until chickpeas are seasoned well.
- In a large bowl, tear the rocket if required into bite sized pieces and toss in most of the dressing. Pour any remaining dressing over seasoned chickpeas.
- Assembling the salad: In a large platter, place the leaves tossed in dressing. Tumble the chickpeas over this. Place the roasted figs neatly over the chickpeas. Garnish with pieces of crushed chikki / praline or caramelised nuts.
Roasting the figs brings out amazing flavours and texture. Use any salad greens you can get your hands on, and substitute chickpeas with any other cooked beans for a variation on this salad.