Baked Figs Caprese Salad with Honey Confit Garlic Dressing is an example of how a well loved and safe choice of an appetiser can be easily transformed into a full blown entree with the most amazing dressing. This is healthy, light and satisfying recipe bursting with juicy flavours in a happy marriage of warm and cold ingredients, earthiness and freshness, and all on one plate. To me this lovely salad is what the of end summer tastes like. Perfect for lunch or dinner and so quick to put together! This one is for you, well dressed salad lovers!
Baked Figs Caprese Salad with Honey Confit Garlic Dressing embodies the perfect summer feast
In this simple recipe, figs and honey confit garlic dressing are real deal-breakers.
Although, I enjoy figs straight from the tree, still warm from the sun they bathed in, I absolutely love their taste when they are gently roasted. Right to the point of the loosened juices about to burst from underneath the figs’ skins. Roasting figs makes their mellow taste so much sweeter and their delicate flesh literally melts in the mouth.
In my salad I pair baked figs with tomatoes, more savoury in comparison, and serve them over some fresh spinach leaves, layered with mozzarella or burrata, and a generous pour of delicious and flavoursome dressing made with garlic confit oil emulsified with nuts, honey and lemon juice.
How garlicky is the Honey Confit Garlic Dressing?
No pungent or sharp garlic taste at all, the garlic touch of flavour is sweet, mellow and velvety, with a bit of herbal nuttiness and notes of perfectly cooked caramel. Garlic confit is a truly magical ingredient. Way nicer than any raw garlic infused oils I tried or made! Find out how to make garlic confit here.
Baked Figs Caprese Salad – my tribute to well dressed salads
To me Baked Figs Caprese Salad is an embodiment of the perfect comfort summer feast and the secret of it lies in the dressing.
I want to make my Baked Figs Caprese Salad a tribute to well dressed salads and all those who actually want to make the world of salad eaters more than just a mediocre one. This is because the Honey Confit Garlic Dressing, which accompanies Baked Figs Caprese Salad recipe, plays a big part of why this salad is as delicious and possibly it wouldn’t be worth talking about otherwise.
You see, I generally have very little faith in salads these days unless it is stated that they are dressed properly on the menu. Salads, which haven’t been dressed at all (which happens way too often), simply make my teeth grind! So, unless I see a classic like caesar salad for instance, I do pay attention to how the dish was described on the menu (or if it wasn’t I will ask). If the dressing is omitted I am simply not convinced that the salad is going to be anything more than just a stack of leaves coated (hopefully!!) in some olive oil, plus (whatever the salad claims to be, meaning chicken, fish etc.) And I find this so disappointing! Why do people take such a lazy approach as olive oil and salt & pepper when you can make things taste so much more interesting!
Anyway. Baked Figs Caprese Salad comes with a dressing which was designed and matched mindfully and will not disappoint! It is a must try, especially for all garlic lovers!
- 8 fully ripe figs
- 8 ½ inch thick slices of mozzarella cheese or burrata (if you can get it), very well chilled
- 8 baby plum tomatoes (or similar), at room temperature, halved lengthwise
- Big handful of fresh spinach
- 15 basil leaves
- 50g pine nuts, toasted (5 min on a baking tray at 200C)
- 5 tablespoons confit garlic oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, or aged balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons runny honey
- 8 cloves of confit garlic cloves
- Preheat oven to 200C. Place (washed and dabbed dry) whole figs on a baking tray and bake for 15-17 minutes.
- Meanwhile, scatter washed and well drained spinach on a serving platter, arrange mozzarella and tomatoes liberally.
- Place confit garlic oil, honey, lemon juice, 5 basil leaves and half of pine nuts in a food processor and whizz it all for about 30 seconds, until just combined into a loose dressing.
- Remove figs from the oven, halve them carefully (be careful not to burn your fingers - figs will be very hot) and arrange on the serving platter.
- Drizzle the dressing over, scatter remaining basil (and confit garlic cloves if you’re after more garlicky experience) and serve.