Friday, 13 March 2015

Caramelised fig and orange salad

I made a simplified version of this salad as an accompaniment to roast cod fillets wrapped in Parma ham last week. I loved it, and I'll look forward to trying it with the feta cheese as a meal on its own sometime soon. I don't think that the dressing particularly needs pernod or another liquer, any salad dressing would be good with such lovely flavours. 

100g caster sugar
16 fresh figs, cut in half lengthways (530g)
4 medium oranges, topped and tailed, peeled and sliced into 1cm-thick rounds (750g)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1½ tbsp raki, Pernod or another aniseed-flavoured liqueur
1 tsp aniseed or fennel seeds, lightly toasted
1 garlic clove, crushed
80ml olive oil
200g feta, roughly crumbled into 1cm chunks
1 tbsp oregano, small leaves whole and larger ones chopped
60g rocket
coarse sea salt and black pepper


Place a large frying pan on a medium heat and add half of the sugar. Leave for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it turns a golden caramel; don’t stir the sugar at this stage. Once nice and golden, add half the figs, cut side down. Cook for 2 minutes until starting to soften, before turning to cook for a further minute. Remove from the pan and add the second batch of figs and repeat the cooking process. You might need to add a tablespoon or two of water to the pan if the figs aren’t very juicy.
Add the remaining sugar to the pan, return to the heat and let it start to caramelise before adding the oranges and leaving for 1 minute on each side. They should take on a rich caramel colour. Remove and add to the plate of figs.
Take the caramel off the heat and whisk in the lemon juice, alcohol, aniseeds or fennel seeds, garlic, ¾ teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of black pepper. Once combined whisk in the olive oil and set aside.
Arrange the oranges and figs on a large platter and dot with the feta pieces. Drizzle over any juices left on the fruit plate followed by the dressing. Sprinkle with the picked oregano and rocket and serve.

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