A bit more than a year ago my mom started working in another hospital, in Kastoria, about two and a half hours away from Thessaloniki. So now she spends about 4 days a week there and 3 days back home. At first I was a bit worried, you know, it's not easy to change your every day routine from one day to another and I guess age does not help much here. But after she settled down there I figured that she actually enjoys the lifestyle of a smaller city. Being there alone (my dad works in Thessaloniki, so he stayed there) she started new hobbies and sports. My dad generally is very conservative when it comes to food. So in the past, when cooking, my mom stayed within the limits of my dad's taste. And now she totally grabbed the chance and started experimenting with new ingredients and new combinations!
Last Christmas me, Stratis and my dad went to Kastoria. So my mom wanted to impress us with her new cooking discoveries. Among other things she made a really nice salad, which all of us liked a lot. Fresh lettuce blended with the sweetness of dried figs and a touch of balsamico was just wonderful and full of flavor, great during the winter, when the big, ripe tomatoes are impossible to find! There is no exact proportions of the ingredients, it really depends on your personal preferences. Here I post more or less the amounts that I used, but it's really a try and fail process! :)
5-7 large lettuce leaves, roughly chopped (enough to fill a large salad bowl)
2 handfuls fresh rucola leaves
3-4 dried figs, quartered
1 tbsp black raisins
1 small handful walnuts, chopped
For the dressing:
3 tbsp balsamico
1 1/2 tbsp liquid honey (I like thyme honey, but you could use any other)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing in a separate small bowl.
2. In a large salad bowl mix the lettuce, rucola, figs, raisins and walnuts. Pour over the dressing and add some extra black pepper if you like and it's ready! So simple!