Photo by: Jonathan Lovekin

Caramelised fig, orange and feta salad

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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

Bringing caramel to just the right point of caramelization whilst trying to look good for a camera is no mean feat; one I didn’t manage to pull off, I hasten to add, whilst filming in Mallorca for Mediterranean Feasts. I was granted the benefit of three takes to get the dish (and myself) looking right for the shoot but I suggest you keep focussed on the dish alone. This was the first ever dish that Esme tested for me in Camden. In classic day-one madness, her attempts to caramelize were impeded by the fact that she had reached for the salt, rather than the sugar, to add to the pan! Working with caramel may seem intimidating but you needn’t worry: the juicy fruit will be fine even if the caramel is slightly crystallized or lumpy. It won’t be thanking you, though, if the caramel burns, so you need to work fast when the caramel reaches the desired colour and to not worry if you add the fruit before all of the sugar has melted. If you can look cute and talk to the camera at the same time then all credit to you. There is nothing strictly ‘tossed’ about this recipe, I know, but the other salads insisted on taking it under their wing.

Serves four

(p 44, Plenty More)


The method for this recipe is available in the book Plenty More, available to buy here.
Plenty More |

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