Celebrating with Figs in Winter Salad

Celebrating with Figs in Winter Salad

Earth Day in January?  Well, in Israel, the promise of spring is waking up the senses as warmer air pushes buds forth, even in January. For those of us caught in the frozen tundra of the Northeast, we can try to connect with the beauty of Spring’s promise of regeneration by celebrating the holiday of Tu b’Shvat on January 15.

cherry tree buds

It’s a minor holiday celebrated with customs that connect locavores more deeply to the land. School children plant trees while home cooks and chefs dream up new ideas for celebrating the seven edible species mentioned in the Torah:









When M. brought plump, moist figs home from Israel last week, I was inspired to find a fig-centric recipe to help you celebrate. I must really love figs because I forgot that I highlighted figs last year here,  with this easy recipe for Pecan Fig Biscotti from Kim Kushner.

Molly Katzen taking time to sign and chat

This year, I turned to the magnificent new cookbook, The Heart of the Plate, by Mollie Katzen. I met her at the 92Y this fall, where she spoke with great warmth and animation about her history as the author of the Moosewood and Enchanted Broccoli Forest cookbooks. Her latest volume is a renewal of her celebration of the most flavorful and colorful ingredients on our plates. The recipes are inspiring and flexible.

You don’t have to be a vegetarian to want to add this to your library. If you’re looking for ways to integrate more veg centric cooking into your repertoire, The Heart of the Plate will provide you with plenty of inspiration and delight.


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