Caramelized fig and orange salad is one of those special salads that pair excellently with spicy food.  The partially caramelized  juices of the figs and orange are mixed with lemon juice and some anise liquor such as ouzo and form the dressing. The feta cheese is the salty, umami ingredient of this salad. The intense sweetness and some tangy flavors in the salad neutralize spicy foods. For example pair it with spicy cauliflower from the oven for a vegetarian meal lower in carbohydrates.

the art of making caramelized fig and orange salad

Using fresh figs is the most delicious. Cut in 8 pieces each. Caramelize sugar in a heave skillet, and heat the fig parts briefly on both sides, batch wise. They should get some color. After the figs, do the orange pieces in a similar fashion. Then anise seeds are briefly heated in the pan and all juices and caramel left is mixed with lemon juice and some anise liquor. Fresh salad leaves and some feta are used as well.

Instead of fresh figs, you can use dried figs that have swollen in warm water for 30 minutes. While different, you can still make a pretty good salad with those!

Special equipment

(cast iron) skillet

Caramelized fig salad©️ Genio van der Schaft

Caramelized fig and orange salad

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Lebanese
Servings 4


All you need

  • 3 large fresh figs
  • 2 (juicy) oranges
  • 4 oz (120 g) sugar
  • 10-20 radichio leaves
  • 5 oz (150 g) rocket salad
  • 1 tsp anise seeds
  • 2 tsp ouzo raki or similar
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 7 oz (200 g) feta cheese


To make the salad

  • Cut the figs and clean the oranges, wash and dry the rocket salad, cut the feta cheese
  • Heat a heavy skillet on the stove
  • Add the sugar and let it come to caramelization
  • Place the fig pieces in the caramelizing sugar. 'Fry' on one side for a minute, then turn the pieces and do it again.
  • Repeat with the remainder of the figs and then do the same with the oranges
  • The fruits should have a brownish color on the sides from the caramel
  • Place all the fruits on a plate to cool down
  • Then add the anise seeds and heat briefly. Take the pan off the heat.
  • Subsequently add all the lemon juice and the anise liquor and stir
  • All the pan juices and caramel will mix together
  • Reserve the liquid pan mixture and use this as the dressing
  • Place the radichio leaves and the rocket greens on a large plate and cover with the feta cheese cubes
  • Nicely position the caramelized figs and orange pieces on top of the greens.
  • Drizzle the salad with the self-made dressing. And let stand for 20 min-2 hours.


Method: pan frying
Food allergy & intolerance information: none
Keyword anise liquor, anise seeds, caramelized fig, caramelized orange, lemon juice, vegetarian


If the figs were too dry, add a little water duing the caramelization and pan fry.

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