Sautéed Sweetbreads and Fig Salad

Sautéed Sweetbreads and Fig Salad

Yield: 4 servings

Prep time: 10 minutes, plus 1 hour to soak sweetbreads

Cook time: 36 minutes

 The range of textures and flavors in this salad is highly sophisticated for such an easy recipe! Feel free to switch up the salad fixings, but I promise this is one salad that will leave you feeling satisfied. This recipe is from my cookbook It Takes Guts, and if you like it, I'd love for you to pick up the book and try some other dishes!

 sweetbread salad



  • 1 pound lamb sweetbreads
  • ½ teaspoon plus 1 pinch fine sea salt, divided
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 3 tablespoons ghee


  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey, preferably raw
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 cups arugula
  • ½ cup dried figs, quartered
  • 2 pears, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 4 ounces fresh (soft) goat cheese, crumbled
  • ½ cup toasted unsalted walnut halves


To make the sweetbreads:

  1. Gently rinse the sweetbreads and soak them in cold water with a pinch of salt for a minimum of 1 hour, or up to 12 hours (overnight). Drain the sweetbreads. In a pot large enough to fit sweetbreads in a single layer, bring the filtered water to a boil. Turn the heat down to maintain a simmer, add the sweetbreads, and simmer for about 30 minutes, until tender but solid to the touch (they should no longer be super soft and delicate-feeling, but rather firm without being rubbery). Remove the sweetbreads from water and allow to cool. (Tip: To cool them quickly as well as firm them up and make them easier to work with, soak them in ice water for about 30 minutes, then drain.) Once the sweetbreads are cooled, use your fingers to remove any visible membranes or fat. Break into 1-inch pieces.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the coconut flour with ¼ teaspoon of the salt, pepper, and paprika and dredge the sweetbread pieces in the mixture until covered.
  3. In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the sweetbreads in the ghee until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes per side. When done, drain on a paper towel–lined plate.


To make the salad:

  1. Make the dressing: Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, honey, olive oil, and salt in a small bowl.
  2. Toss the arugula, figs, pears, and cucumber in a large bowl. Top with the goat cheese and walnuts. To serve, place 2 cups of salad in each of 4 large bowls, drizzle evenly with the dressing, and top with the warm sweetbreads.

Note:  Due to their delicate, creamy nature, sweetbreads are best eaten right after cooking; however, they will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. You can reheat them on the stovetop, in a pan on medium heat with another tablespoon of ghee for about 5 minutes. The salad fixings, if not dressed, will keep for 5 days in the fridge.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published