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Fresh Fig and Arugula Salad
Fresh Fig and Arugula Salad

This is so delicious! Fresh figs are in season in early summer and then again in late summer through fall. Choose a slightly soft fig. A good balsamic vinegar, especially one that is fig-infused, is great in this salad and all the dressing it needs ( is a good website for a wonderful variety of balsamic vinegars, including fig-infused vinegar). But don’t be deterred from making this if you don’t have fig balsamic vinegar—any balsamic vinegar works.

4 fresh figs

6 to 7 cups loosely packed arugula (half of a 5-ounce container)

1 orange

1 tablespoon fig-infused balsamic vinegar, or balsamic vinegar of your choice, or to taste

1. Heat the broiler (it’s also easy to do this step in a toaster oven). Line a small baking pan with aluminum foil. (A toaster oven pan works well.)

2. Cut the figs in half and place the cut side down on the lined pan. Broil for 2 minutes. Flip and broil for 2 minutes on the other side.

3. Place the figs on a cutting board and cut each fig half in half, then in half again. Place the arugula in a bowl, add the hot figs, and toss.

4. Cut an orange in half, and with a sharp knife, remove the sections and squeeze the juice over the bowl of arugula and figs. Add the vinegar and mix. Serve while the figs are warm and receive compliments like, “Oh my, this is so amazing!”

Serves: 2 to 4

The above recipes have been reprinted from The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2014, Ann and Jane Esselstyn.

Ann and Jane Esselstyn
Ann and Jane Esselstyn

Ann Crile Esselstyn has devoted herself to inventing whole-food, plant-based recipes to prevent and reverse heart disease in support of the research of her husband, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. She is the author of the recipe section of Dr. Esselstyn’s bestselling book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, and co-author of The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook with her daughter, Jane. Jane Esselstyn, RN brings her perspective and passion as a long-time health and sexuality educator to creating on-ramps to the plant-based way of life. Along with her husband, Brian Hart, Jane recently developed the Cleveland-based Plant-Based Institute, which strives to educate and empower the public about the transformational effects of a plant-based lifestyle. For more information, visit

Below: Ann and Jane Esselstyn (photo by Donna Ruhlman)


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