Make the most of British produce with this textured, flavoursome salad from one of our favourite cookbooks. Serve with a glass of red to stand up to the peppered cheese.
10 - 15 minutes
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 6 ripe figs
- 3 pomegranates
- 30g caster sugar
- Juice and zest of 2 lemons
- 200ml extra virgin olive oil
- A large pinch of crushed black peppercorns
- 300g fresh soft goat’s cheese, such as chèvres du Larzac
- 80g walnuts, lightly toasted
- 500g lamb’s lettuce
- 1 tsp chopped fresh lemon thyme
- Sea salt and ground black pepper
Step 1: Halve the pomegranates and deseed, discarding the shell. Place two-thirds of the seeds in a pan and add the sugar, lemon juice and zest. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Press through a sieve to extract all the juice. Heat the liquid on a medium heat until the juice is thick and syrupy.
Step 2: Slice the figs in half and brush with some of the pomegranate juice. Sprinkle with the peppercorns and put them under the grill to warm. Mix the remaining pomegranate juice with the olive oil. Season with a little salt, pepper and lemon juice.
Step 3: Crumble the goat’s cheese and season with black pepper. Crumble the walnuts onto the cheese, then add the pomegranate and olive oil dressing to bind. Scoop the cheese and walnut mixture on to each plate, then add the figs, mixing them through the cheese.
Step 4: In a separate bowl, mix the lamb’s lettuce and thyme leaves with some of the pomegranate syrup and season. Serve some salad on top of the cheese and figs, then sprinkle on the remaining pomegranate seeds. Drizzle the rest of the syrup over the salad.
From Easy by Tom Aikens (£25, Ebury Press)