My sister Kathy brought this festive fig, pomegranate & balsamic salad as a contribution to a recent dinner party I was hosting. Winner! The combination of figs, pomegranate seeds, avocado and mild cheese (she used firm ricotta, I used goat cheese) work really well.
The balsamic dressing is the perfect accompaniment. This is pretty much my ‘go-to’ dressing although, for some salads, I add a squeeze or two of lemon juice and increase the maple syrup a bit. I suggest using a really good balsamic vinegar if you can to get that deep flavour and the right sweetness.
The figs can be fresh or dried. If using fresh, choose figs that are medium-soft to the touch and just cut off the stem before slicing. Choose a fresh pomegranate that has deep red seeds with a rind that is reddish-brown. Cut it in half and smack each side (hard!) on the outside over a bowl to release the seeds.
The whole salad takes only 10 minutes to make when you take a couple of shortcuts.
- use pre-washed and dried lettuce;
- buy pomegranate seeds (often sold in a sealed cup), if you can, instead of extracting them yourself from a fresh pomegranate;
- buy fresh figs already packaged and sealed.
The salad can be assembled ahead of time and kept covered in the fridge. If using avocados, be sure the sprinkle them with a bit of lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. Add the balsamic dressing just before serving.