Monday, August 16, 2010

Ahi Tuna, Pear and Fig Salad with Dark Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette

I planted a black jack fig tree five years ago and it's becoming a true thing of beauty. This year we are having a bumper crop. Have you ever had a fig right off the tree warmed by the sun, it is magical. It's my college girls last week at home and I'm planning on spoiling her rotten. She loves ahi tuna and I can't think of anything better than pairing it with some of our fig bounty.

When I think about what inspires me to cook, I'm always lead straight to nature. Sometimes I think I should be wearing Birkenstocks, but then my brain goes straight back to a horrible memory of my high school English teacher who wore them with her hideous feet; and where I'm heading with this no one knows.

As far as this recipe goes, it's as simple as it gets. I got some 2" thick ahi steaks, put a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil on them and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt. Heated up the grill and just gave them about 3 minutes on each side, I love them rare in the middle. I had some Bartlett pears that I had picked up at the farm stand and some feta in the fridge. I added some of my beautiful figs and some baby greens and drizzled the whole thing with a Dark Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Dark Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/4 cup cherry puree, or you could reduce some juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic

If your cherries aren't sweet enough add a touch of sugar. I just threw everything in the blender and pulsed until it emulsified.

The girls and me sat outside and enjoyed the evening. I've been mentally blocking the fact my baby is leaving. I'm going to miss evenings like this; food always tastes better when it is shared with the ones you love.




  1. That's a plate of treasures! You are really good in gardening! Can't imagine myself planting anything! I am just hopeless in gardening.

    Wish you a wonderful day!

  2. Gorgeous salad! I am so envious of your fig tree - what a treat to be able to pick them fresh off the tree, right outside your back door.

  3. What an amazing salad, beautiful arrangment.

  4. I love all these ingredients - now the figs - oh my - my grandfather had a fig tree in Queens, NYC. MN just won't sustain them. So I wait for over-priced not always ripe ones to appear at my grocers. The vinaigrette is sensational.

  5. Thanks Angie!
    Cookin Canuck - thanks I appreciate it, she has a beautiful site, check her out!
    Gitte - thanks so much!
    Claudia - sorry you can't grow a tree in MN, if I have to move, I'm digging mine up! Hope you all have an amazing day!

  6. oh that just looks delicious! I only discovered figs last year and now I am in LOVE! I wish I had a tree because near me that can be $2 each!

  7. I'm so jealous of your fig tree. I left mine behind when we moved and there isn't enough sun in my yard to grow one now. Your tuna is cooked PERFECTLY. How gorgeous is that!

  8. This is such a beautiful presentation!