I am delighted to share recipes that highlight Greek ingredients. This creamy salad is brought to you by one of Greece’s most popular exports – Greek yogurt. This salad is creamy without resorting to mayonnaise, there’s reconstituted dry figs, lemon zest, fresh thyme and another best- Greek olive oil.
If that ingredient list didn’t convince you, there’s also some Mousto Balsamic vinegar, a wonderful product from my friends at Acropolis Organics. Mousto refers to grape must or, the first crush of grapes (think grape stomping) and it is rather sweet. There is some tang in this vinegar so I’ve also added some lemon zest and lemon juice to balance the flavour.
There’s some fresh thyme to offer some savory and sliced hazelnut to compliment the figs. Ahhh figs. Even though they aren’t season any more I still love dry figs. I reconstitute them in boiling water then soak them in a bit of Metaxa. The hint of Metaxa, the sweet figs, tart yogurt and savory thyme play against the peppery arugula greens.
Arugula Salad With Creamy Greek Yogurt & Fig Dressing
8-9 dry figs
approx. 2-3 Tbsp. Metaxa
1/2 cup strained Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. Mousto Balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. thyme leaves
zest of 1 lemon
lemon juice to taste
salt and pepper to taste
about 4-6 cups of rinsed and dried arugula leaves
sliced hazelnuts for garnish
- Place your dried figs in a bowl large enough to just contain them and cover with boiling water. Cover the bowl with a plate and allow the figs to rehydrate for 10 minutes. Remove the figs and quarter – place half the figs in a food processor along with the lemon zest, Mousto balsamico, yogurt, olive oil, lemon zest and 2-3 Tbsp. of the water used to rehydrate the figs.
- Place the remaining figs in a bowl and drizzle some Metaxa over them and toss. Allow to steep in the Metaxa for 10 minutes.
- Process until just blended and adjust taste with salt and pepper, lemon juice to taste and stir-in the thyme leaves.
- Toss your salad greens with the dressing and plate with a topping of macerated (figs soaked in Metaxa) and sliced hazel nuts. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and fresh ground pepper.
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