Yes, it's that time of the summer when you actually can get fresh figs in Cincinnati. I don't know of any local sources--the ones I see all come from California--but I'll be looking at Findlay Market this weekend and hoping to see the fruits of some intrepid area farmer's fig tree.
However, I scored my first carton of these precious gems at Trader Joe's this week.
[Thursday, I saw three varieties of fresh figs at Whole Foods, on sale for $2.99 a carton]
I used about half of the TJ carton to make the salad pictured above.
Recipe: Fig and Chicken Salad on Arugula (Serves 2 as an entree, 4 as a side)
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast (preferably free range, organic)
Chicken stock or broth
1 large garlic clove
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 cups arugula (or other mixed greens)
1 cup cooked green beans, and an equivalent amount of any other leftover cooked veggies on hand
6-8 fresh figs
Salad dressing of your choice
Shredded mozzarella cheese or crumbled goat cheese (optional)
1. Place the chicken in a saucepan and cover with chicken stock, or a mixture of chicken stock and water. Add garlic, bay leaf and seasonings. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook gently until chicken is just done (about 5 minutes, depending on thickness of breast).
2. Remove pan from heat, take chicken out and let rest on a cutting board. Save broth for another use, or discard (if saving, put through a strainer and discard garlic and bay leaf).
3. When chicken is slight cool, slice into bite-size pieces and cover with some of the salad dressing you are using.
4. (Optional) Spray a shallow frying pan with cooking spray, add figs and cook on medium heat, turning often, to heat and slightly cook (caramelize) the figs.
5. Cut the figs (warm or uncooked) into quarters.
6. In a large mixing bowl, toss together arugula, figs, chicken in its salad dressing, vegetables and figs.
7. Drizzle more salad dressing over all, season with salt and pepper, if desired.
8. Divide into large, shallow bowls and serve. Pass cheese at the table.