Seasonal Jewels

As a Scot living in sunny Pershore it gives me no end of amusement to watch the fruit on my fig tree ripen from tiny little bulbs into beautiful droplets of joy. Even growing outdoors no less!
There’s a real knack to picking these fibre rich lovelies at just the right moment. Too soon and they are dry and lack a bit of taste, too late and they are balls of mush. As such I love them just as they are, added as a side to a cheese board or sliced thinly on top of my morning yoghurt – the choices are endless.
Figs have been revered throughout history; popular for long voyages and dry climates due to their ease of storage where access to fresh fruit was limited but also due to their many health benefits. Some studies suggest figs can act as a natural antibacterial and antifungal agent and may even support immune function. Both raw and dried figs are high in fibre, supporting the digestive system and a healthful heart, whilst the fibre provides a feeling of fullness that can promote weight loss. These delectable fruits are a good source of potassium, a mineral found in every cell in the body critical for a multitude of essential body function.
I love them quartered and thrown across a simple salad; transforming it into something much more interesting in minutes.

Fig, Feta and Orange Salad.
Handful of large salad leaves; the more varied the better – Watercress, pea shoots, rocket works well.
2 oranges - peel, remove pith and cut into segments
75 g crumbled Feta (Blue or Gorgonzola works well too)
2 fresh figs, cut into 1-inch cubes
Olive oil and red wine vinegar to taste.

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