Fig feast salad with Ouzo, orange and lime dressing

31 May 2016

A dynamic and flavourful Middle Eastern fig salad recipe that works well as a main course served with hummus and pita bread.

Cooking time

10 minutes

Serves

4



Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium sized cooked beetroot, cut into small squares
  • A handful of fresh coriander/cilantro, chopped
  • 8-10 black fleshy Kalamatta olives, chopped
  • 1 cup cucumber (with skin), chopped into squares
  • 3 fresh figs, cut into wedges
  • Half an avocado, cut into small pieces
  • 1 fresh red chilli, cut lengthways then chopped into small pieces
  • Extra chopped coriander, for garnishing
  • 1/8 cup toasted pine nuts, for garnishing
  • The zest of 1 lemon, for garnishing

Dressing

  • The juice of a lime
  • The juice of an orange
  • 4 Tbsp (60 ml) of Ouzo, or Pernod
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar (I use muscovado)
  • 4 Tbsp (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • A pinch or two of sea salt (to taste)

Method

This is a magical salad with Middle Eastern tones, and a wonderful dynamic and sensual dressing. Although you may serve this as part of a main course, it's also delightful to have alongside hummus and hot pita bread – the combination in itself will make an interesting and diverse main course. 

The trick with this salad is to ensure the figs are beautifully ripe, and taste the dressing before you pour it on the top, to make sure the salt and sweetness balance are just right. 

I love that the salad celebrates all tastes and textures together – a celebration of dynamic culinary sensuality – sweet, soft, bitter, crunchy, colourful, moist, chewy, creamy, aromatic and well, just perfect.

The salad

Once you have chopped all your salad ingredients and toasted your pine nuts, then just arrange them nicely in a medium sized salad bowl (except for the figs, which you can leave until the end), and toss very gently so that you don't over-crumble the avocado, and so that the beetroot does not 'over-bleed' onto the other ingredients. 

Then finally add the fig wedges, and grate the lemon zest in situ over your salad. Now throw the pine nuts on top, and make your dressing.

The dressing

Pour all the ingredients in a small saucepan, and whisk on a low heat - wait until it begins to caramelise, and then once it's done so, and is a little thick, allow to cool a little for 5 minutes. 

Then pour the magic dressing onto your salad. Serve and Enjoy!

Yasou: A Magical Fusion of Greek & Middle Eastern Vegan Cuisine by Miriam Sorrell (Greenhouse Publications) is out now.

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