Black Fig and Tomato Salad
It’s no secret that some of the best produce comes out of that short but sweet time when summer transitions to fall; Alex Jackson’s black fig and tomato salad is like an ode to two of our favorites. If you use the freshest ingredients you can get your hands on, it’s bound to be a masterpiece. (Luckily, it’s beyond easy to make.)
“This recipe is one to be made as summer gives way to autumn,” the author of Provençal: Simple Seasonal Southern French Cooking writes, “and only when both figs and tomatoes are spectacularly good.” This calls for a trip to the farmers market, doesn’t it? “The rest is pretty easy—a few leaves of basil, some good vinegar and the best olive oil you can get,” he continues.
And don’t forget to pair this salad with cheese. Jackson recommends mozz, but you can switch things up if you want: “Good, fresh cheese is an obvious accompaniment to tomatoes and figs. Mozzarella, obviously, and good buffalo or sheeps’ milk ricotta, but also young goats’ milk cheese, shaved with a knife over the salad. I wouldn’t say no to a piece of toast either, rubbed lightly with garlic and drenched in good olive oil.”
Ooh, we like the sound of that.
Excerpted from Provençal: Simple Seasonal Southern French Cooking by Alex Jackson, published by Pavilion Books, 2019.
8 fresh, ripe black figs
4 medium-size ripe tomatoes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon high-quality red wine vinegar or Champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 basil leaves
1. Using clean hands, tear the figs in half. Cut the tomatoes into wedges around the same size as the fig halves.
2. Place the tomato wedges in a medium bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the vinegar and olive oil, and toss to combine.
3. Add the figs and basil leaves to the tomatoes and toss again gently. Arrange the salad on a serving platter or individual plates.