Artichoke Salad with Greens and Figs

A more festive and elegant salad is not to be had. Light and fresh, but rich enough to be decadent, this is a symphony of flavors and textures that makes any occasion just a bit more special.

Makes 4-5 Servings

Ingredient List: 

extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thin half-moon slices
sea salt
8-10 marinated, frozen or fresh artichoke hearts, split in half lengthwise 
1 red pepper, roasted to char the outer skin, peeled, seeded, sliced into thin ribbons

juice of 2 limes
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons umeboshi  or red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons brown rice syrup
generous pinch black pepper
bunches watercress, stem tips trimmed, left whole
8-10 fresh figs, split lengthwise
2-3 whole green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

Step By Step Instructions: 

Place a small amount of oil, garlic and onion in a skillet and turn heat to medium. When the onions begin to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in artichoke hearts and red pepper ribbons and sauté just until heated through, about 2 minutes more.

Prepare the dressing by whisking together lime juice, oil, vinegar and rice syrup, adjusting seasonings to taste.

To plate the dressing, arrange watercress on a platter, with figs around the rim. Spoon sautéed artichoke heart mixture over the top and drizzle lightly with dressing, serving the balance of the dressing on the side for those who want to use more. Sprinkle with green onions and serve immediately after dressing.