Fig Salad l

I celebrated my 1 year anniversary of moving to the centre of town a week ago. So it is quite fitting that this Fig Salad came to being after I bought the figs from one of the many fruit and veg street vendors in the city centre.

Fig Salad l

Their stalls are always bright splashes of colour within the concrete of the city and it is a treat to see how the produce change as the seasons progress. The price for the figs was insanely cheap. 4 Punnets for R10 (1 US dollar). You could easily pay R30 or R40 for 6 figs at the retailers. I must have asked him about 3 times if that was the correct price. I was late as it is but there was no ways I was not going to get these beauties so bought them, walked back home to drop them off and was even later for my appointment. But it was so worth it!

Fig Salad l

My initial idea was to bake with the figs but they were just too beautiful to let them disappear into some batter, so  I grabbed my newly acquired Plenty More recipe book from Ottolenghi as I recalled there were some recipes with figs. In there he has a fig salad with roasted red onions and I took that as inspiration for this salad.

Fig Salad l

I wanted to keep it all in the hue of dark reds with splashes of fresh bright green so added some roasted beetroot to the mix. For the leaves I only used baby leaves as I wanted the flavour to be as intense as possible.

Fig Salad l

Roast the onions to a deep caramalisation. That slight burnt flavour and saltiness goes so well with the sweetness of the figs and beetroot. You could add Feta cheese but I liked the salad as is and there is enough salt coming from the roasted onions.

Fig Salad l

Fig Salad l

Fig Salad


  • 2 large red onions
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • good pinch of sea salt
  • 6 whole beetroot, cooked (preferably roasted) and peeled
  • 6 large figs
  • a mix of baby spinach and baby salad leaves of your choice (try to get some red leaves like radicchio)
  • a handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees C.
  2. Peel the onions and slice each one into 6 wedges.
  3. Drizzle with a tbsp of the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt.
  4. Roast for 20 – 25 minutes, stirring once through roasting, until the onions are soft and the edges caramalised and crispy.
  5. Remove and set a side.
  6. Slice each beetroot into 8 wedges
  7. Slice each fig into 4 – 6 pieces depending on the size.
  8. Place half the leaves on a platter.
  9. Place half the onions, beetroot and figs on top
  10. Top with the rest of the leaves
  11. Top with the rest of the onions, figs and beetroot
  12. Scatter the basil leaves over the salad
  13. Whisk the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil and balsamic together and drizzle over the salad and serve
  14. Adapted from Ottolenghi
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