Valley Fig Growers

Warm Beet Green Salad with California Figs, Goat Cheese & Pepper Bacon Polenta

Makes 4 generous servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound package prepared polenta, brought to room temperature
  • 8 ounces fresh, soft goat cheese
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large bunch beet greens, washed, dried and torn into shreds with woody ribs removed
  • 8 ounces Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, cut in half and plumped in 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (available at specialty food stores)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced thyme
  • 8 slices thick-cut, pepper-crusted bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
  • 1 pinch chili flakes, optional
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced chives
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat broiler. Slice polenta into four discs, each one flat and approximately 1-inch thick. Slice goat cheese into four discs, each one approximately 1/2-inch thick. Stack one piece of goat cheese on each polenta disc and season with salt and pepper. Place on heavy cookie sheet and slide under the broiler. In a heavy skillet over high heat, warm olive oil until it shimmers. Add beet greens, figs, lemon zest and juice, honey, pomegranate molasses, garlic, and shallots. Stir vigorously until greens are wilted and mixture is fully combined. Season with salt and pepper, add thyme and remove from heat. Fetch polenta-goat cheese discs from broiler and place in center of warm salad plate. Stud each broiled goat cheese portion with 1/4 of the bacon. Top with beautiful pile of seared fig greens. Sprinkle with chili flakes, a little more salt and pepper, and garnish with minced chives.

Food Service Contest Winner
Sweet Culinary Fig Recipe Contest
This hearty small plate or first course features sweet, plump dried California figs and savory beet greens piled atop rounds of warm creamy bacon-studded goat cheese and polenta.

Bill Clifford, The Daily Catch Restaurant, Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Nutrition Information

amount per serving

  • Calories 670
  • % Calories from Fat 39%
  • Fat 30
  • Cholesterol 46
  • Protein 24
  • Carbohydrates 76
  • Fiber 11
  • Iron 6
  • Sodium 1180
  • Calcium 301
  • Potassium 1084