TasteFood

Figging Out

There is a magical window of time when fresh figs are abundant, and now is the time. Soft and fragrant, fresh figs are oh-so-ethereal to eat. Their flavor is delicate yet nuanced. Depending on the variety, they can be sweet and winey, honeyed or grassy.

Black Mission figs are the smallest -- dark and furtively sweet. Brown Turkey figs are larger, striated in brown and yellow, and pleasingly sweet like honey. Calimyrna figs are perhaps the prettiest -- green and golden like wheatgrass, with a nutty vegetal flavor.

When figs are ripe, they are luscious to eat straight up, but if you are lucky to have too many, then layer them into sandwiches and salads, or perch them atop pizzas and bruschetta.

This salad is studded with Brown Turkey figs, and fortified with farro grains, feta cheese and pistachios for the right balance of sweet, salt and heft. If you prefer a leafier salad, then halve the amount of farro.

Fig and Farro Salad With Feta and Mint

Active Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes, plus cooling time

Yield: Serves 4

1/2 cup semi-pearled farro

1 1/2 cups water

Dressing:

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 small garlic clove

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 to 4 ounces baby arugula

1/2 small radicchio head, shredded

6 Brown Turkey figs, stemmed and quartered

2 ounces crumbled feta or fresh goat cheese

1/4 cup mint leaves, torn if large

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pistachios

Finely grated lemon zest, for garnish

Cook the farro: Combine the farro and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot and simmer until the farro is tender, about 30 minutes. Drain any excess liquid and cool the farro to room temperature.

Make the dressing: Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, honey, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add the oil in a steady stream, whisking to emulsify.

Assemble the salad: Combine the arugula and radicchio in a serving bowl. Scatter the farro over the salad and top with the figs, cheese and mint. Drizzle some of the dressing and gently toss to combine. Add more dressing to your taste. Garnish with the pistachios and lemon zest and serve immediately.

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