I remember the first time I ever had figs — I was in the desert, perched on a deck overlooking a vermillion sky. Back then I was a wine drinker, a connoisseur if you please, and I paired my figs with a tender brie and a glass of rosé. Because back then I was a fan of the blush. The figs were tender, yielding, and I savored each slice paired with a heaping knifeful of brie. It’s with fondness that I remember that time alone in the desert. I was reading Thisbe Nissen. I had just been on a plane away from a place filled with otters. I met up with an old friend who was undergoing a strange sort of metamorphosis — from party girl to wife and mother — baby sleep guru, et all. It was the sort of holiday filled with whitespaces, a very Play it as it Lays sort of trip, and amidst the wine, the written words and the strangeness, I will always remember those figs.
Yesterday it was hot, so much so that all I wanted to do was lock myself away in a cool house, cocooned in a blanket. For hours I watched television, started new books, edited my bookshelves and indulged in gastronomic flights of fancy. I returned to my favorite fruit, and this time I paired it with kale and arugula, dressed in an orange vinaigrette.
I love simple salads. One need not chop, julienne and dice a heap of vegetables in order to create something earthy, wholesome and delectable — you only need a handful of ingredients. This salad is so simple, it’s almost embarrassing, but the memory of me, a former, younger version of myself, propelled me forward. Because that version of myself was frightened of the unknown, of what was to unfold, while the woman I am now is perfectly content diving into the abyss.
INGREDIENTS (SERVES ONE)
2 cups of chopped, mixed kale
1/2 cup arugula
4-5 figs, cut center and then halved
2 tbsp freshly-squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt/pepper to taste
Whisk the dressing ingredients (olive oil, juice, salt + pepper) and pour it over the greens + figs. Serve!