Fig Salad with Pomegranate Syrup

Source:

Stephanie Rosenbaum, author of Honey from Flower to Table (Chronicle Books) and Williams-Sonoma Kids in the Kitchen: Fun Food (Scribner). (July 1, 2008).

This recipe was demonstrated at CUESA’s Easy Market Meals program on July 2, 2008. 

Nestled into pungent greens, these savory, tart-sweet morsels make a wonderful summer starter. You can also wrap each fig in a strip of proscuitto before heating. Redwood Hill’s chevre or Point Reyes Blue cheese are my favorites to use for this dish.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2 cups pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
8 figs
2 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (chevre) or blue cheese
1 large bunch arugula
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

PREPARATION

  1. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. To make the syrup: Bring pomegranate juice to a simmer. Over medium-low heat, reduce juice until it has the consistency of maple syrup. Add balsamic vinegar and honey, and simmer for another minute. Remove from heat and set aside.

  2. Nip off the hard stem-end tip of each fig. Split the fig into quarters, cutting only about halfway down so the fig stays intact. Tuck about ½ tsp of cheese into each fig. Drizzle well with pomegranate syrup. Place figs on baking sheet and drizzle with a little more syrup. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until figs are warm and pulpy and cheese is beginning to melt.

  3. While figs are roasting, toss arugula with olive oil until leaves are shiny and evenly coated. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper and toss again. Divide arugula between 4 salad plates. Top each plate with two figs. Drizzle on a little more pomegranate syrup and serve.

 

VARIATIONS:
Peach Salad with Pomegranate Syrup
Instead of the figs, use fresh peaches pitted and quartered. Marinate peach slices in pomegranate syrup, then grill on a lightly oiled grill pan or under the broiler until fruit is golden brown around the edges and beginning to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. (Again, you can also wrap each quarter in proscuitto before grilling.) Arrange slices over arugula, sprinkle on crumbled blue cheese, and drizzle with additional pomegranate syrup to taste.

Pluot Salad with Pomegranate Syrup
Instead of figs, use firm-ripe pluots (Flavor King is a particularly delicious variety.). Pit and quarter pluots. Marinate in pomegranate syrup, then grill on a lightly oiled grill pan or under the broiler until fruit is softened and beginning to caramelize around the edges. Arrange slices over arugula, sprinkle on crumbled chevre, and drizzle on additional pomegranate syrup to taste.

 

About CUESA

CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »