Fennel, Fig and Pomegranate Salad with Lime dressing
This recipe is best enjoyed in the garden while the kids are looking for Easter eggs or on the deck at Duba Plains Camp with a glass of Chenin Blanc.
The light flavour of liquorice given to this salad from the fennel is complimented with the rich red figs and a burst of fresh pomegranate. It is the perfect crisp and juicy salad that does not need a lot of work. It has zero guilt but tons of flavour.
1 butter lettuce
½ cup of fresh parsley
4 red or green figs
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1 bulb fresh fennel
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 limes’ zest
Break the four 5 cm fennel stalks of the fennel bulb. They look like celery stalks. Wash them to remove any soil. Some may still have fennel leaves on them. Break these off and preserve for later.
Take two cups of ice and four cups of water with a pinch of salt and mix in a bowl. This is for crisping your lettuce but also to make you fennel curls.
To make your fennel curls take a potato peeler and shave thin ribbons of the fennel stalk. Try to make as many as possible out of one stalk. Place these ribbons in the ice water. This will make your fennel ribbons curl up and become crisp. (also works with celery).
Also add your fennel herb leaves to the ice bath.
Wash your butter lettuce and place in your ice bath.
Wash the parsley and pick of the leaves. Add this also to the ice water bath.
Let all your greens sit in the water for about 15 minutes. You can place this in the fridge if you like.
This process is called refreshing your greens. It will make almost any wilted herb or leaf crisp and bright green again. It works with any herb, lettuce, spinach, cucumber ribbons, Zucchini ribbons or some stalk plants.
Cut the figs in quarters and place in a bowl.
Add the cup of pomegranate seeds. Mix in the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Add the lime juice and the lime zest.
After the leaves have refreshed in the ice water for 15 minutes, strain them and let them sit on a cloth or paper towel for 5 minutes to get rid of all the water. Set aside a few fennel ribbons for garnish.
Add the leaves to the fig and pomegranate mix.
Place in a salad bowl and place a few fennel ribbons on the top for garnish.
Any dressing that might be left in the mixing bowl you can pour over the top of the salad.
Chef Pickard Bergh