Food & Drink

Recipe Friday – Sweet and Savory Spinach Salad with Figs & Butternut Squash

September 30, 2016
spinach-salad
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Delicious and sweet, figs season is officially underway, so could not resist making this dish. Often figs are found in desserts, due to their natural sweetness, but this dish is a nice blend of sweet and savory. It was easy to make, but this yummy dish looks like it takes longer to prepare than it does, so it would make a a great dinner party salad!

Choosing Fresh Figs:

Figs are delicate and by the time you find them in at the market, they will often have small slits or tears. This doesn’t mean that the figs aren’t good to eat. A good fig will have a soft texture and a fresh aroma.

 

Health Benefits:

There are so many health benefits of figs! Figs are rich in natural phyto-nutrients, anti-oxidants and vitamins including, Vitamins A, B1, and B2, calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, sodium, potassium, and chlorine. They are also high in fiber, which helps reduce constipation and with weight loss. The pectin in figs help to reduce cholesterol and the mucilage of figs helps to relieve sore throats. Other benefits are helping to prevent macular degeneration, lowering blood pressure, lowering levels of triglycerides, and preventing post menopausal breast cancer.

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Warm Spinach Salad with Caramelized Figs and Butternut Squash

This salty, sweet, fresh and tangy dish below is adapted from Foraged Dish. It can be a side dish but can also hold its own as a main dish too! If you choose to use this as a side dish, be careful because it’s more filling than it looks! We used pre-cut squash from Trader Joe’s to save time.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 6 figs, halved
  • 2 cups raw butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 5 cups fresh spinach (baby OR chopped normal spinach)
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional for serving: Almonds

Method

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a skillet until it sizzles. Place the fig halves flesh-side down in the hot oil, and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown and the sugars begin to caramelize. Remove from pan, set aside.
  2. Place the butternut squash and garlic in the pan with the oil. Sauté the squash until it is soft and crisping on the edges (to get a nice sear on the squash, stir infrequently, allowing each side to crisp up before turning).
  3. While the squash cooks, slice the red onion into very thin slices or mince it.
  4. Turn off the stove, and add the red onion and spinach to the skillet. Stir to combine. Until the spinach begins to wilt. Add salt to taste. Scoop everything into your serving dish. Arrange the figs over the top of the salad.
  5. Serve warm. Optional: Sprinkle with slivered almonds before serving (this adds a nice crunch factor).

Bon Appetite!

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