I love creating exciting new dishes when I’m travelling. Being in a different part of the world brings with it a diverse variety of flavours. That’s not to say these foods can’t be found in the UK, travelling has taught me that we have access to the widest variety of foods in England, but they are of course going to be cheaper and fresher when sourced locally abroad.
Figs are native to the Middle East and Mediterranean and were held in such high regard by the Greeks that laws were once created to prevent their export. Fig trees line the streets here in Cyprus and they’re so cheap to buy at the market.
Often consumed dry in England or found more commonly in cakes and biscuits, I prefer the way the Greeks eat them, contrasting their sweet, slightly crunchy seed texture with a soft strong cheese. The two combined will often offer a simple snack or starter.
50g mixed salad leaves
Half a small red onion
2 Ripe Figs
75g Feta Cheese
Handful of fresh dill
Half a cucumber
Sprinkling of sunflower seeds
Fresh Lemon (for the juice)
Extra virgin olive oil
Drizzle of manuka honey
Rounded teaspoon of black olive tapenade
High in natural sugars, minerals and soluble fibre, figs are often recommended to nourish and tone the intestines and act as a natural laxative due to their high fibre content. In addition they prove rich in minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and copper and are a good source of antioxidant vitamins A, E and K. Figs also contain prebiotics, which help support the pre-existing good bacteria in the gut, improving digestive wellness.
The colours, flavours and textures are what I love most about this salad. The collision of syrup with savoury. Figs, Feta, Red Onion and Manuka Honey – they contrast sweet and sour, yet compliment each other perfectly.