Fig salad with pastırma

One of my favorite memories of the vacations in Turkey in my childhood was to sit underneath the fig tree in our garden, reading a good book and eating the freshly picked fruit from said tree. Today I don’t climb fig trees because of body volume, gravity...uhm, love for trees, it’s called love for trees (!!!) anymore, but I still love figs and every year I am on cloud nine when fig season approaches.

In Turkish cuisine figs are used in many different ways. Wether it is in dessert, cake, rice oder meat dishes or straight in its dried version as a refreshment for the spirit. Figs can not be missing. In addition they are very healthy and have, despite their sweetness, just as many calories as an apple when they are fresh. 

Today I’ve got a fig salad with pastırma (Turkish cured beef) The sweet and spicy components add up perfectly while pine nuts and walnuts complement the taste perfectly and will even convince staunch salad deniers which seems almost like a miracle, considering the specimen I have at home.^^ 

In case you don’t have a Turkish grocery store close by, read my tips after the recipe further down. Like with any Turkish recipe I will provide information on how to replace Turkish ingredients with standard ingredients.


2 handful of baby spinach
2 hearts of Romaine lettuce
2 figs
8 slices of pastırma
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp walnuts
juice 1/4th of a lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp honey
salt & pepper


Roast pine nuts in a pan until they are golden-brown. Chop walnuts with a knife. Wash baby spinach and hearts of Romaine lettuce and let it drip off. Wash figs and quarter them. For the dressing, mix up olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper well. Mix half of the dressing with baby spinach. Roll up cured beef into small rolls. Prepare leafs of Romaine lettuce and cured beef rools consecutively on theedge of the plate. Put a quarter of the fig on each leaf of lettuce. Place baby spinach in the middle of the plate. Sprinkle pine nuts and walnuts over it and drizzle it with the rest of the dressing.

Variation possibilities

In case you are not able to get a hold of Turkish cured beef, you can replace it with every other cured beef without e problem of course. One possibility would be Italian cured beef called Bresaola, which should be available in any well-stocked grocery store or your local butcher. Bresaola is air dried, just like the Turkish version, but it is more mild, since pastirma becomes more spicy while drying because it is coated with spices. If you want to pimp your salad even more, you can add diced Turkish sheep cheese. 

If you like the recipe and you feel like  learning about more recipes involving figs, let me know. I have tons more up my sleeve. :)

Stay hungry!

Your Sibel