Cactus fig with fried, caramelized Brussels chicory and roasted pistachios

We are experiencing a heat wave in The Netherlands. I would almost like to say finally! The warm sunny weather is probably not for everyone, but I totally enjoy feeling the sun prickling on my skin, lying on the beach, go for a swim etc. This summer’s weather is also an excellent opportunity to eat light food, like a salad. for instance. And what could suit a summersalad more than cactus fruit (or cactus fig)?

Totally inspired by the the sun I came up with this combination of fried caramelized Brussels chicory, (maybe some of you know it by the name “witloof”) combined with fresh cactus fig, thin slices of lime and roasted pistachios. It was a great success!

I started with peeling the cactus fig, a job that needs to be executed with some care. Even when the figs are cleaned there are always some small “needles” left on the skin, so either you hold them in a piece of paper towel or you wear gloves to protect your fingers.

When the skin is peeled of you cut the fig into slices or small pieces. Peel half a lime and cut the flesh into very thin slices. Mix the two of them in a bowl and set aside.

Roast the pistachios in a dry frying pan until they start to color brown. Set aside.

Clean and peel the Brussels chicory so you will get loose leaves. Pour some coconut oil or other vegetable oil in a frying pan and start frying the leaves on both sides. Add some sea salt, black pepper, a few drops of honey and a splash of balsamic vinegar and let the chicory caramelize. You will probably have to to this in parts or in several pans at the same time.

Place the leaves on a salad dish, “sprinkle” the cactus fig and the pistachios over it. Add a few fresh mint leaves. Pour a dressing of fresh lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper over it and done!

Combines great with fried potatoes!