Contrary to what many tourists who descend on our little island might expect, August isn’t the nicest time to be here. Most of the locals know to clear out for this month as the island gets scorching hot, overcrowded and tempers run high. Last year, we took off for the whole of August as we took out tiny car with wind down windows and busted AC for a trip round Europe. It was madness and I’m not sure we will do it again but it was fun at the same time and the change of scenery definitely helped with island cabin fever. This year, we are here so we try to stay out of the crowded places and keep things simple, including food. As we are right in the middle of a Greek fig season, figs are on my hot ingredient list right now. They are ripe to the point of bursting at their seams so need to be eaten fast. Today’s batch ended up in a Greek-inspired fig and rocket salad and it rocked it hard 🙂 . Apart from mighty figs, the salad features plenty of other Greek flavours: olives, pomegranate seeds, almonds, red onions, olive oil and a touch of ouzo to jazz up the dressing. It comes together in minutes and it’s suitably refreshing. If you’ve been swimming loads and need something more substantial some orzo will fit right in too, so don’t be shy, bulk it up if you need to.
- serves: 4 as starter
- approx. 50 g of arugula / rocket leaves
- approx. 100 g of other neutral tasting salad leaves (I used baby spinach and lollo rosso)
- 4 ripe figs, cut into quarters
- 1 small fennel bulb, sliced very thinly
- 10 Kalamata olives, pitted and quartered
- a handful of pomegranate seeds
- a handful of almonds, sliced thinly
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp ouzo
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 small red onion, sliced very thinly
- ½ cup / 120 ml apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar (I used brown)
- ½ tsp salt
- Prepare quick-pickled onion by bringing vinegar, sugar, salt and ½ cup / 120 ml water to the boil. Once the pickling liquid boils take it off the heat and add thinly sliced onion to it. Let the onions pickle for 30-60 mins or so before you start preparing the salad.
- Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Grab a large plate or bowl. Place rocket and other salad leaves on first, scatter shredded fennel on top. Add figs, pomegranate seeds and almonds and pickled onions. Dress with ouzo dressing.