My personal fig story
The fig is an enigma to me, and I can only make dumb guesses as to why they are. I don’t remember ever tasting a fig except in the Fig Newton cookies that I loved as a kid. I seem to recall my cousins had a small fig tree in their back yard, but I don’t ever remember seeing any fruit on it. Maybe, we just visited there during the off-season, I don’t know.
It turns out, however, that they are a prominently grown in my native state of Texas, and apparently, are very easy to grow. They just never FIGured into our diets for some reason…”ugh” with the stupid puns! That one just sorta caught my eye and was not a planned pun.
A few years ago I was working with a man who grew figs in his backyard. He was from Jordan, and he had kept clippings of his original fig trees to take with him everywhere he had lived since leaving Jordan. One day, while I was working on some construction estimates, he tapped me on the shoulder and presented a very large bowl to me, and asked me to try one. I said, “what is it?” He said, “feegs,” or, at least, that’s what it sounded like. I asked, “Feegs? What are they?” “Feegs, just try one, they won’t hurt you!” I’ll never forget how that first fig led to many others that day, and seeing the smile on his face when he shared them with everyone at the office.
The lesson I learned from that, among others, is that figs don’t grow in cookies. They grow from a plant! “If that don’t beat all!?”
Selecting the ingredients
So, in my quest to create a dozen or so salad dressings that conform to the Eat To Live nutritional plan, I have made and written about a few of them that are tofu-based. Needing some variety, I needed another medium for getting the taste variety I needed. I’ve had this one in mind for a few days, and I’m perfectly satisfied with the results.
Needing something with oils, without adding any “cheat oils” from a bottle, I needed some kind of nut that is oil-rich in all the good ways. So, I bought some raw cashews for this recipe am very happy with the flavor and consistency they bring.
To get the acidic flavor I wanted, I went with a rich, sweet balsamic vinegar, and it was the perfect choice for the flavor I was searching for.
Fig Balsamic Salad Dressing
6 black figs, diced
1 cup raw, unsalted cashews, finely ground
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup whole chia seeds
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
Use a food processor or a nut chopper to grind the cashews, getting them as finely ground as possible so that the oils are released. Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend to puree. Chill and serve
Makes about 3 cups.