Saturday, 6 October 2012

A last taste of summer: mozzarella, fig and pomegranate salad

This recipe - inspired by the fabulous fig and mozzarella salad I had at Modern Pantry a few weeks ago - served as a lovely light dinner on what could well have been one of the last warm days of the year...

I made a few changes to the original dish: I couldn't remember some of the ingredients, and, having run out of pomegranate molasses (and let down by my local Waitrose, who had none in stock), I was unable to recreate the delicious pomegranate-roasted red onion that had been such a key feature of the Modern Pantry version. I attempted to make up for this with the substitution of fresh pomegranate seeds (even though extracting the seeds from those things is the bane of my life - I somehow always end up with juice splattered over the counter, myself, and even the wall?!)

Despite the minor deviations from the original, the salad was still delicious, and surprisingly filling: neither of us managed to finish our plates. The combination of flavours - from the slight bitterness of the chicory to the sweetness of the figs and pomegranate seeds, the tangy creaminess of the buffalo mozzarella, and the peppery kick of the rocket leaves - was fantastic. Topped with a drizzle of good quality olive oil, and some seasoning to taste, and it was done: an impressive looking starter or main in under 5 minutes.


Two heads of chicory
Four ripe figs, quartered
250g of baby buffalo mozzarella balls
Seeds of half a pomegranate (or, if you can get it, use pomegranate molasses as a quick but delicious dressing, or if you have time, in a recreation of Modern Pantry's pomegranate-roasted onions)

A small handful of peppery salad leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Peel the leaves from the heads of chicory and lay them onto the plates. Sprinkle the rocket leaves on top, followed by the pomegranate seeds.

Quarter the figs, slice the baby buffalo mozzarella balls (or, if you're using 'adult-sized' balls, chop into rough cubes), and place both on the salad - artistically if you can!

Drizzle with olive oil, season with sea salt and black pepper...and voila! You're good to go.