12 June 2012

A resurrection, and a salad

We were fairly sure that our little fig tree had been killed by the February deep freeze. We watched its bare branches carefully all through our warm March and our damp April. In May we went away for a couple of weeks.

When we got back from the trip, the fig looked unchanged. It was just four or five bare, skinny branches poking up out of the ground. No buds were visible. Then over this past weekend, Walt came in from mowing and reported that new fig branches and leaves were coming up out of the ground around the old ones. The fig has grown back from its roots.

The fig tree that came back from the dead

I'm glad we were so busy that we hadn't taken the time to dig the bush up. Walt said he intended to do so one day recently, but he got occupied with other chores. So there it is. It must have a good root system — we planted it five or six years ago. I doubt we'll get any figs this year, but who knows...

The vineyard yesterday morning

Yesterday's lunch was a Chicken Caesar Salad. If you're American and living in the U.S., you probably eat such salads fairly often. A Chicken Caesar is a standard lunchtime item — I ate a couple of them in restaurants while we were in the U.S. last month. I remember when I worked in the town of Belmont south of San Francisco a dozen years ago, I would often go pick up a Chicken Caesar Salad for lunch at a little sandwich grill in the shopping center just down the road from the office. I'd take it back and eat it at my desk. Half the time, several of my co-workers would ask me to bring them one back too.

Caesar Salad

A Caesar Salad is romaine lettuce leaves dressed with garlicky vinaigrette to which a few drops of Worcestershire sauce and a big tablespoonful of grated Parmesan cheese have been added. The other ingredient in the dressing is a raw egg, which you stir in vigorously. One egg for two generous lunchtime salads is enough — it makes that amount of dressing thick and rich. If you don't want to put in a raw egg, you can add a tablespoon of mayonnaise instead. Lemon juice can replace or supplement the vinegar in the dressing.

Chicken Caesar Salad

After you toss the lettuce leaves in the dressing, add some toasted croutons and another spoonful of Parmesan cheese. Toss again. Lay a few anchovy fillets over the top of the salad if you want. Then slice up a grilled or broiled chicken breast and serve it with or in the salad. There are a lot of recipes and ideas for Caesar Salad here. It doesn't hurt if you have fresh romaine lettuce growing in your vegetable garden.


  1. I’m not at all surprised about the resurrection of your fig tree. I certainly told you about mine in Arlington, VA, which froze to the ground the winter after it was planted when the temperatures went down to 4°F [-15 C°] for a number of days. I thought I had lost it and shed a tear over its fate. Then much later in the spring I noticed a tiny fig leaf, not even big enough for Adam in the garden of Eden. Now it’s a huge tree. I hope to enjoy figs for Labor Day this year if I can beat the birds!

  2. Yes. Have a couple of those trees regrowing from the roots. These were grafted trees. So what is newlygrowing will be a different variety than before. See them at http://thefieldofgold.blogspot.co.nz/2010/07/fig-trees.html?utm_source=BP_recent
    Best wishes. Kerry

  3. Bonjour CHM, yes, you told me about your fig tree that came back, and you were right — ours has done the same.

    Kerry, I don't know if this figuier was grafted, so you're right, we'll see what we get, if anything.

  4. Ken, if your tree was grafted, you should notice a distinct bulge at the graft point. The huge one in Grand Pressigny had started to regrow from the base about a month ago... I haven't looked over the wall recently to check on the growth.

  5. Right, Tim, I don't see that distinctive bulge. I'm wondering how soon we should cut off the dead sticks, if at all.

  6. Our fig tree survived thankfully, though we're not too sure we'll get figs.
    Cesar salad -- yum one of my all time favourites :-) Antoinette

  7. I don't think anything will sprout on the dead sticks, but I'd leave them for a while as a marker. Our fig pulls the same trick, and I'm forgetful enough that if it weren't for the dead sticks, I'd have a shovel in there trying to plant something in that spot.

  8. We love Caesars as well, especially with a nice piece of grilled salmon and Schnitzel's homemade french bread.
    Of late we have tried a grilled Caesar where the heads are split, dressed with a bit of olive oil, grilled lightly, brought in and add the typical caesar dressing and top with parmesan and grilled again till the cheese melts - YUM

  9. yummmm, I love Caesar salad, and yours looks great, especially knowing that the dressing is freshly made and the chicken is surely quite tasty :))

    Interestingly, I saw this post last night at about 11:30 p.m. STL/Central time. Were you up with insomnia, or did you have it set to automatically post around 6:30 a.m. your time?

  10. Judy, Callie woke me up at 4:30 a.m., wanting to go outside. Then I couldn't go back to sleep. So that's the story.

  11. I never really had tasted a fig until I had one right off the tree in Spain.

  12. Sometimes your lunchtime Caesar salad runs were the highlight of my Belmont days. You were so kind and the salads were so yummy. Glad the fig will live to see another season.


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