Food for thought: Fresh figs, in addition to tasting great as is, are a happy complement to plenty of other foods.
Take a simple chicken salad, for example. Give it a Mediterranean flavor by tossing in fresh figs, and since the salad's ingredients include yogurt, mint and chickpeas too, the finished dish can seem positively Greek.
Note that these varied layers of flavor and nutrition still add up to only 7 grams of fat per serving. Also, remember that after the fresh fig season, you can still make this dish with dried figs.
GREEK-STYLE CHICKEN FIG SALAD
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon plain nonfat yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed with a garlic press
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups (1 pound) cooked, diced chicken breast meat
1 1/2 cups (15 1/2-ounce can) canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch-thick
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup (about 10) fresh figs, diced
3 cups (4 ounces) mixed salad greens
6 tablespoons (1 ounce) chopped fresh mint
In a large bowl, whisk together the orange juice, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, mustard and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until well blended. Add the chicken, chickpeas, cucumber, onion and figs; stir and toss to coat well (see note). Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
To serve, divide the salad greens among six individual plates. Top each with an equal amount of the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with the mint.
Makes 6 servings (8 cups).
Nutrition information per 1 1/3 cup serving: 330 cal., 7 g total fat, 65 mg chol., 280 mg sodium, 38 g carbo., 7 g fiber, 27 g pro.
Note: The recipe makes enough dressing to lightly coat the salad ingredients. If you prefer a heavier coating, you may double the dressing amounts.
—Recipe for AP developed by the California Fig Advisory Board