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Primal Salad with Figs, Bacon and Toasted Pecans Recipe

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fig salad

Have you ever eaten a fresh fig It doesn’t surprise me that many people have not. Their season is relatively short and they can cost $1 or more per fig. Even at that price, however, it is hard for this primal eater to pass up such a sweet fruit that is so versatile in the kitchen. You can eat figs raw, sautee them with butter, roast them in the oven, even deep-fry them (cant wait to try that!. Figs would also make a perfect base ingredient for a primal dessert. Given their syrupy, sweet interiors, I expected figs to score pretty high on the glycemic index. Surprisingly, according to this glycemic index table, fresh figs score a mere 35, which means they have a low impact on blood sugar.

Last night I made a fancy dinner for just Dave and I. It was an ordinary Thursday but sometimes it’s fun to make a nice dinner for no good reason. We kicked things off with an expensive (for us bottle of Malbec and then moved on to this salad with the figs. The entree was carmelized scallops with a balsamic reduction sauce (recipe to come. I made ‘starter’ salads but this would make an amazing entre-sized salad, too. Eat it outside with a nice glass of wine. Top it with some gorgonzola cheese if you are so inclined.

Salad with Figs, Bacon and Toasted Pecans

The proportions here are approximate. I tend not to measure when it comes to salads. I recommend adding as little or as much of any particular ingredient as appeals to you. I also included some ingredient substitutions that I think would work just as well. Use what you have!

Salad:
3 cups of mixed greens (using or mixing in some bitter greens, such as dandelion greens, makes a nice flavor addition
1/3 cup of toasted pecans or walnuts (toast raw nuts by placing them on a cookie sheet in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes
4 slices bacon, cut into inch pieces and fried until crisp
2 fresh figs, cut into wedges

Dressing:
1 tsp minced shallot
2 tbsp Olive oil
2 tbsp White balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, or white wine vinegar
Salt and fresh ground pepper

Combine salad ingredients, except figs, in a large bowl, set aside. To make the dressing, combine the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined (I actually use a mini food processor so I don’t have to fuss with mincing the shallots. Dress the salad and toss. Divide onto two plates and top each with the fig wedges.

Yield: 2 salads

This post is participating in Fight Back Fridays at Food Renegade

13 comments on “Primal Salad with Figs, Bacon and Toasted Pecans Recipe

  1. This looks VERY tasty! I would probably leave the figs raw for the nutrients they provide and as they can be a great help in keeping the digestive track moving along… I might suggest you deep fry anything only on very rare occasions; the toxic substances created during deep frying are not body-friendly in any way. Having said that, your site looks reads beautifully. I wish more nursing students were as interested in natural approaches to health and diet as you are. Keep up the great work!

  2. Beautiful! We eat salads like this at least once a day (and bacon is a definite favorite).

    Thanks for sharing this in today’s Fight Back Friday carnival. Hope you choose to share again!

    Cheers,
    ~KristenM
    (AKA FoodRenegade)

  3. I love fresh figs (one of my landlords had a tree)! There is nothing quite like them.

    This salad looks fab (except for the nuts…I’m allergic), especially figs and bacon.

  4. yum! now i must see your scallop recipe too! please?

  5. What a fabulous salad! I LOVE figs!!

  6. shelley on said:

    Kristen – thanks for stopping by. I’m a big fan of your site and have been meaning to get going on your Fight Back Friday posts for several weeks. Glad I finally got to it.

    Laura – The nuts are delish, but the best parts are definitely the figs and bacon!

    Emily – Scallops recipe will be up (hopefully) by the end of the weekend. It is lovely.

    Charles – Thanks for the heads up on the deep frying and I agree with you – fresh is definitely best! With regard to toxic substances, are you referring to the oxidation/free radicals that occur as a result of using polyunsaturated fats for deep frying? If so, what’s your take on using lard or coconut oil which are stable at high temps?

    Thanks, Jen! :)

  7. Yum! Great post! Looks delicious! When figs are next in season I want to try it!

    Michelle.

  8. Love love figs!!!

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  11. Shelley, sorry for the delay in replying. As I am sure you know, both coconut oil and lard are considered excellent and are likewise very popular among Weston Price followers. I wrote recently on oils which, with your indulgence, I will paste below. The entire article may be found here: http://www.campaignforrealhealth.com/2009/07/24/choose-real-foods-not-fake-foods/

    Use only traditional fats and oils including butter, beef tallow, pork lard and other animal fats, extra virgin olive oil, expeller expressed sesame oil and the tropical oils – palm and my favorite, coconut oil. Fat is back and it’s hot! But not just any fat. The fats the government and the “experts” told us to eat a few years ago — hydrogenated, processed vegetable, etc. are dangerous and in the opinion of many, not fit for human consumption. Now the government is on the anti-hydrogenated bandwagon but they are not quite up to speed on the safety AND BENEFITS of animal fats. Click on the link earlier in this entry to learn a LOT more about truly healthy fats. Still worried about fat? Here is something to think about: Saturated fat causes less, carbohydrate causes more heart disease in women. (With thanks to Dr. Ann Childers on Twitter for the link).

    One word of caution when cooking with fats; some are more resistant to heat-induced damage than others. Saturated fats, as a class, are the most stable under heat and the most stable of them all is coconut oil. The least stable and therefore most nutritionally dangerous fats to cook with are the omega 6 vegetable polyunsaturates like safflower and sunflower which, because of all their double bonds, break down under heat into toxic substances like free radicals and trans fatty acids you and your body do not want! The monounsaturates like olive oil are more heat stable than the polyunsaturates but your best bet for cooking is still the saturated fats.

    One additional heads-up: though flax oil is a popular “health oil,” there is recent evidence that 1; the human body does not have the ability to convert it for proper use; and 2. it is estrogenic.

    Charles

  12. Aren’t figs lovely? I used to cut them open on the tops in an x, and then stuff them with chopped chocolate and almonds moistened with a little rum, and then I would heat some sugar to the hard crack stage and dip the bottoms briefly in the sugar to make a crispy coating. Now I just eat them in the car on my way home from the market, lol. But your salad looks so good, I think I could hold off till I get home!

  13. shelley on said:

    b kinch – Rum! I love it! I just visited your blog. I am originally from Oregon… miss those blackberries.

    Charles – thanks for all the additional info on fats. I think it is a fascinating topic in part because fats are so misunderstood and demonized. Hmmm.. maybe there’s a post about fat in my future…

  14. A great idea for future recipes this. Thank you for sharing it. Have you noticed how so many people appear to be cooking again? I wonder if the lack of funds due to the current climate has something to do with it and we all appear to be cooking again! its great!

  15. The initial query which is generally posed is whether or not coconut oil is harmless to use. Manufacturers of other oils have historically attempted to smear coconut oil as a poor oil due to the fact it is mostly comprised of saturated fats. Aren’t those the poor fats? In many cases they’re, but in the case of coconut oil their makeup is extremely several from many other oils. Coconut oil is mostly comprised of medium chain fatty acids that happen to be healthful. Most other saturated fats can’t say this. The stableness saturated fats helps assure that coconut oil will not break down into trans fatty acids and free radicals when subjected to to higher temps.

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