This salad with fig, goat cheese, basil and pomegranate vinaigrette recipe is from a book called Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. This is an amazing vegetarian (although you won’t miss a thing) cookbook given to me my sweetest niece, Sarah. Ottolenghi is a London chef and his books are gorgeous and the recipes are rich and satisfying. Certainly not local, I don’t think we grow figs in Minnesota, but the greens and basil are once again from my garden. You may substitute dry figs for this salad, not quite as dramatic and a bit sweeter, but a nice substitute. More figs should come into season in the fall, then you can try this recipe with fresh. They sure are a gorgeous exotic looking fruit. That coming from a true Minnesotan!
The reason I bought the pomegranate molasses in the first place was for this recipe! You may remember that ingredient from a previous recipe post. The Strawberry Pomegranate Ice Cream a few weeks ago. That sweet and tangy syrup is my latest essential to have in the cupboard. I will continue to include recipes with new ideas on how to use it. Don’t worry, it will store in a cool dark place for months, we’ll use it up before you know it.
One change I did make to the recipe was walnut oil versus olive oil. Toasted walnut oil, the aroma alone is intoxicating. You want to drink it, I’m not kidding. A little pricey, and be sure to store it in the fridge, but it should last for a little while. A good olive oil is a completely fine substitute and called for originally in the recipe, but the walnut packed a flavor that complemented the figgy’s beautifully. Give it a try, let me know if you like it.
Salad with Fig, Goat Cheese, Basil and Pomegranate Vinaigrette
This is a lovely salad for a dinner party or a nice luncheon. Don't confuse pomegranate molasses with the more typical black-strap molasses. It's a totally different syrup. Fresh figs, fresh goat cheese (no pre-crumbled please!) and fresh greens transform this to a very special salad. Enjoy!
- 1 shallot finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons toasted walnut oil (or olive oil)
- 3 cups fresh salad greens
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves loosely packed
- 8 ripe figs cut in quarters
- 3 oz. goat cheese crumbled
Add shallot, mustard and molasses to a bowl. Add a good pinch of salt an pepper and whisk as you add the walnut oil. Whisk until it reaches an almost creamy state. Taste it, add a little more salt and/or pepper if it needs it. There, the perfect vinaigrette. Easy, right!
Toss the salad greens, basil and most (not all) of the dressing in a large salad bowl. Arrange the cut figs on the greens and crumble the goat cheese throughout the greens. Drizzle more dressing on the figs and serve.
This recipe is best if all ingredients for the dressing are at room temperature.