TENDING the TABLE

Fig and Candied Pecan Panzanella

This time of year, I often find myself standing barefoot in the grass in my parent’s yard biting into a freshly picked fig: juicy and sweet, tasting of honey and flowers and summer sun. These moments are what inspire me to create recipes that show off nature’s incredible bounty. This Fig and Candied Pecan Panzanella does a pretty great job of exemplifying what late summer produce is all about. It combines ripe figs with crusty bread, smoky candied pecans, and bitter greens for a super satisfying lunch or dinner. The smoky, crunchy pecans balance out the sweet softness of the figs and add some protein to make this salad hearty enough to be a meal on its own. Continue reading for the recipe and enjoy…

Now for a little life update: I spent the weekend in Corvallis, OR, hiking, swimming in the river, camping, and gazing skyward as the moon eclipsed the sun for a moment of total celestial splendor. The experience was unlike any I’ve had before and left me feeling humbled and in awe of the universe. The crescent shadows, eerie silence, cool air, ripples of light, and the radiating rays of the sun’s corona all left me feeling minuscule in the face of a universe beyond understanding and control. Normally, feeling out of control is not my thing at all, but there was something strangely comforting about the realization that no matter what goes in down here in the world or in my life, the planets will continue turning. That’s one less thing to worry about I guess…How did you spend the eclipse?

I’m home now for a few weeks and am looking forward to some paddle boarding, mountain biking, and nesting before fall arrives. Stay tuned for more recipes and posts on sustainability and wellness in the coming weeks.

XO

*This post was sponsored by Diamond Nuts. Thank you for supporting my work by supporting my sponsors. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Fig and Candied Pecan Panzanella

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CANDIED PECANS

1/2 cup Diamond Nuts raw pecan halves

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

FOR THE DRESSING

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon grainy mustard

1 tablespoon maple syrup

FOR THE SALAD

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 slice crusty sourdough bread

5 fresh, ripe, juicy figs, halved

4 cups mixed greens (I used radicchio, arugula and baby kale)

1 small bulb fennel, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

1/4 cup basil leaves, torn into pieces

salt and freshly cracked black pepper

PROCEDURE

FOR THE CANDIED PECANS

Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil, maple syrup and nuts and cook, stirring frequently. The oil and maple syrup will bubble up and caramelize. Once the nuts are well browned and coated in caramel, sprinkle in the paprika, cinnamon and salt. Spread the nuts out on a parchment lined tray to cool.

FOR THE DRESSING

Combine the oil, balsamic, mustard and maple syrup in a small jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously until well mixed and creamy.

FOR THE SALAD

Heat the oil in a clean skillet. Add the bread and toast, pressing the bread into the pan with the back of a spatula, until golden brown and crispy on both sides. Remove from the heat. Once cool enough to handle, tear the bread into 1-inch pieces.

Combine the bread, figs, greens, fennel and basil in a bowl with the candied nuts. Add a pinch of salt and a few turns of black pepper. Pour over the dressing and toss well. Serve immediately.