Lush Dark Chocolate Figs with Sea Salt

Lush Dark Chocolate Dipped Figs with Sea Salt (1 of 25)

Figs, chocolate, and a dash of sea salt make for a lush and irresistible dessert.

Dark chocolate. Figs. Sea salt. Three deceptively simple ingredients. But combine these separate components together and some magic transpires. The figs are instantly transformed into a lush a decadent dessert that will not fail to impress your guests at your next dinner party. What’s more? The entire process will not take you longer than 30 minutes.

Note of warning: be careful not to “overkill” on the sea salt. Also, feel free to substitute the sea salt with crushed pistachio if you prefer.

Lush Dark Chocolate Dipped Figs with Sea Salt (5 of 25)

 

INGREDIENTS:

Total time: 30 minutes | Serving size: Makes 6

  • 80g quality dark chocolate
  • 6 fresh figs
  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt (or crushed pistachio if you prefer)

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METHOD:

  1. Break chocolate into chunks and pop into a heatproof bowl.  Sit bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (a bain marie) and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally.Lush Dark Chocolate Dipped Figs with Sea Salt (19 of 25)
  2. Once melted, dip each fig individually in the chocolate, rotate 360 degrees until the fig is evenly coated. While chocolate is still liquid, sprinkle sea salt on top of fig (NB: be careful of overdoing it, as you don’t want the fig to be ‘too salty’). Rest coated fig on a tray lined with parchment paper.

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Lush Dark Chocolate Dipped Figs with Sea Salt (17 of 25)Lush Dark Chocolate Dipped Figs with Sea Salt (16 of 25)3. Repeat for other figs. Once done, stick tray into refrigerator and wait until 15 minutes before taking out to serve.

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Caramelised Figs on Avocado Toast

Caramelised figs on avocado toast (18 of 18)

Figs…a culinary delicacy par excellence. Caramelise them with honey and serve on a toast layered with sliced avocado for a healthy and nutritious breakfast.

Figs. There is nothing like the tastes and texture of fresh figs. They are lusciously sweet with a texture that combines the chewiness of their flesh, the smoothness of their skin, and the crunchiness of their seeds. California figs are available from June through September; some European varieties are available through autumn.

Figs are the sweet way to lose weight. Did you know that figs are a good source of dietary fibre, which helps with weight management and protecting against the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. What’s more, figs are a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps to control blood pressure. Since many people not only do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, but do consume high amounts of sodium as salt is frequently added to processed foods, they may be deficient in potassium. Low intake of potassium-rich foods, especially when coupled with a high intake of sodium, can lead to hypertension.

Figs range dramatically in color and subtly in texture depending upon the variety, of which there are more than one hundred and fifty. Some of the most popular varieties are:

  • Black Mission: blackish-purple skin and pink colored flesh
  • Kadota: green skin and purplish flesh
  • Calimyrna: greenish-yellow skin and amber flesh
  • Brown Turkey: purple skin and red flesh
  • Adriatic: the variety most often used to make fig bars, which has a light green skin and pink-tan flesh

As for their origins, figs can trace their history back to the earliest of times with mentions in the Bible and other ancient writings. They are thought to have been first cultivated in Egypt. They spread to ancient Crete and then subsequently, around the 9th century BC, to ancient Greece, where they became a staple foodstuff in the traditional diet. Figs were held in such esteem by the Greeks that they created laws forbidding the export of the best quality figs. Figs were also revered in ancient Rome where they were thought of as a sacred fruit. According to Roman myth, the wolf that nurtured the twin founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, rested under a fig tree. During this period of history, at least 29 varieties of figs were already known.

There are several ways to serve fresh figs. For me, I like to have my dosage early in the morning for breakfast when I wake up. Simply caramelise them with some honey in a pan and serve on a slice of toasted sourdough with fresh avocado. Sublime.

Caramelised figs on avocado toast (17 of 18)

INGREDIENTS (makes 1 toast, serves 1):

  • 1 fresh fig
  • 1 tablespoon of runny honey
  • 1 slice of sourdough/breadof your choosing, toasted
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced

METHOD:

  1. Slice fresh fig in quarters and place in bowl. Coat with the runny honey all over.

Caramelised figs on avocado toast (4 of 18)2. Heat frying pan on low-medium heat. Once hot enough add the figs and lightly pan fry until golden both sides (no more than 3 minutes).

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3. Toast bread and arrange sliced avocado on top. Layer with the cooked figs and serve whilst warm.

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Tahini-Miso Dressed Kale Fig Salad

Tahini dressed kale salad (2 of 27)

For a hearty lunch, you can’t go wrong by opting for a delicious kale salad. Kale pairs perfectly well with a fresh home-made creamy tahini dressing. Add some chunks of avocado to give it more smoothness and toasted walnuts with maple syrup to give the salad the extra crunch and dimension. Throw in some figs for some added fibre.

 Of all the healthy greens, kale ranks no.1. Super high in nutrients and super low in calories, kale is among the most nutrient dense food on the planet. It helps combat inflammation and contains vitamin K, which can help prevent against cancer.

Tahini is mineral rich containing zinc, iron, selenium and copper and also provides omega-3 fatty acids, a source of healthy fat.

Figs are high in natural sugars, minerals and soluble fibre. Figs are rich in minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and copper and are a good source of antioxidant vitamins A, E and K that contribute to health and wellness.

Walnuts not only taste great but are a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and an excellent source of those hard to find omega-3 fatty acids.

This shredded kale salad with tahini  dressing is also gluten-free, vegan and paleo and can easily be made protein-rich with the addition of fish, meat, tempeh or beans (but I personally like it without the meat)

INGREDIENTS (serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side):

For the tahini dressing:

  • 1/3 cup tahini paste (see below for recipe)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon of miso paste
  • salt to taste

For the salad:

  • half a pound of kale
  • half a large avocado
  • 2 fresh figs
  • handful of walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon of honey/maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

METHOD:

To make tahini:

1) Toast sesame seeds in frying pan until they turn lightly golden in color. (NB: this is optional but toasting the seeds will give it a nuttier flavour). Transfer seeds to a plate / roasting pan and let it cool completely.

Tahini dressed kale salad (25 of 27)

2) Grind in a food processor fitted with the S-blade. Process for 2-3 minutes until sesame seeds form a crumbly paste. Next, add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil (NB: any neutral oil will do, including grapeseed or sesame oil). Process for 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary, until the mixture forms a thick and fairly smooth paste. For a thinner consistency, add more oil. Add salt to taste and process until combined.

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4) Transfer the tahini to an airtight jar (I love the mini Weck ones). It will keep in the fridge for a month or longer (sadly, mine was demolished within two days). If the mixture separates, stir the tahini to redistribute the oil.

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To make the kale salad with the tahini dressing:

1) Wash kale leaves and remove stems. Cut into strips (width according to your liking).

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2) Slice figs and slice avocado.

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3) Toast the walnuts. Turn fry pan on medium heat, pan fry walnuts until they turn light golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and add some honey (or maple syrup), cinnamon, and cumin. Toss until combined.

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4) Make tahini dressing. Add 1/3 cup tahini with 1/3 cup of water until desired consistency obtained. Add the dollop of white miso paste (optional) and shake vigorously until combined.

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5) Mix walnuts, avocado, figs and kale salad together. Dress with the tahini miso dressing.

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Tahini dressed kale salad (1 of 27)