Today´s recipe could be defined as an authentic Sweet Salty salad. Contrasts of sweet and salty, together with crunchy touches of the sunflower seeds and the coconut create an explosion of taste in the mouth. Those contrasts are the sparkle we need to look for at all times.
The figs from the end of August and September are for me a reminder that the summer is about to finish, that the days are getting shorter and the nights are colder. Somehow it is like the last summer fruit gift that you eat as if it were a treasure. And in reality, it is a treasure, because when you open it and see the bright and fleshy color of the interior, you can only think of the magnificent nature jewel you have all for yourself. And what about the taste?? Oh my god, words cannot express it. As my friend Pilar says, they are just God food, and you all know why the Gods know Latin. The fig tree is known as the tree of life and wisdom. So you already know, plant a fig tree in your garden or pig out when the season starts. In a nutritional level and in case I haven´t been able to convince you with the previous facts, the figs are an energy bomb (a really powerful one!) packed with minerals. It is one of the most important sources of assimilable calcium of the vegetable world. And besides that, they play an important role in cleaning the cells and also have an amazing capacity to alkalize the body´s ph. . . . So I repeat again, they are an authentic jewel.
Although the recipe looks complicated as it consists of many different preparations, they are all super short and very easy to make. And on top of that, the vinaigrette, the sunflower seeds and the coconut can be prepared in advance. And even more, from the beginning the goal of this recipe was to remind you of an important organizational aspect in the kitchen. A good dressing or vinaigrette is the basis for a good salad or for any other dish. If you always have on hand a pot with good vinaigrette, life gets a lot easier. Because it also takes the same amount of time to make 100ml than 500ml. So I encourage you to choose vinaigrette you like and a jar where you will have previously calculated the measure. You will need to make one once per week and whenever you are running out of time, you will definitely appreciate it.
The recipe I propose here is merely an attempt to boost the nutritional properties in the mix thanks to the miso, which is a fermented paste packed with probiotic bacteria. I also use apple vinegar, which is an amazing ally on the intestinal level, besides having a lot of potassium which helps the body get rid of an excess of sodium, helping not retain so many liquids. It has so many properties that I invite you to try it, because it should be an essential ingredient in any kitchen.
The sunflower seeds and the coconut are perfect for any dish, like a soup or even for an ice cream. If you don´t have sunflower seeds, with sesame it can be also utterly delicious. If you like the coconut chips, double the recipe next time you get to work on it, so you always have some around.
Now I really need to go, I have an appointment at mid-morning with the figs that are left …
Ingredients (4 servings)
200 gr of green leaves (arugula, baby spinach, lettuce...)
500 gr of fresh figs
1 bunch of chives or green onions
280 gr of cooked chickpeas
2 tbsp of lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
20 gr of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp of salt
60 gr of laminated dry coconut
1 tbsp of melted coconut oil
1 tbsp of soya sauce
1 tbsp of water
1/8 tsp of pepperoncino (optional)
caramelized sunflower seeds:::::::::::::
100 gr of sunflower seeds
30 gr of maple syrup
1 generous pinch of salt
(for a jar of 324 ml)
1 tbsp of mustard
2 tbsp of miso
1 tsp of honey
3 tbsp of apple vinegar
1 tbsp of soya sauce or tamari
150 gr of extra virgin olive oil
- Heat up the chickpeas (I do the following, boil some water, leave them inside for about 5 minutes and strain them). Put them in a small bowl with the lemon juice and the zest, the 20 grams of oil and the tbsp of salt. Let it stand at least for a couple of hours and stir it from time to time.
- Heat the oven to 170°.
- To make the coconut chips, mix in a bowl the coconut oil, the soya sauce, the water and the pepperoncino. Add the coconut oats and stir them well until the liquid gets well distributed. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Spread them in an oven tray and cook them for about 15 minutes (or until you see a uniform dark golden color), stirring it halfway through the cooking. As soon as they cool down and when you see that are crunchy, keep them in an airtight pot so they don´t absorb any moisture.
- Mix in a bowl the sunflower seeds with the maple syrup and the salt, stir well till they all get equally moistened. Lay them out in an oven tray with greaseproof paper and bake them for 10/15 minutes until they get browned, stirring halfway through cooking. When you take them out, it is very important to keep them in a jar as soon as you see that they are cold because they will get moist pretty fast. If they are stuck together, you will need to break them down a little.
- To make the vinaigrette take a jar (jam pot like) and add the mustard, the miso, the honey, the apple vinegar and the soya sauce. Stir them well with a spoon. Weight the oil and add it little by little while you are stirring the mix. You will see how it will emulsify bit by bit. Set them aside.
- When you are ready to serve the food in the plate, chop the chives or green onions and cut the figs in four different sections.
- In a tray or in individual pots, put a bunch of green leaves, the chickpeas with a bit of its own liquid, the figs, the vinaigrette, the sunflower seeds, the coconut and the chives or green onions. Taste it!