Try not to move the pan around too much when cooking the figs, otherwise they will break up completely.
Preparation time: 10 minutes•
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4 people
*This recipe serves 4 to 6.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ gas mark 4.
2. Cut the dried figs in half and remove the hard bits where the fig joined the tree. Soak the dried figs in the water and balsamic vinegar for 5 minutes, trying to ensure all the figs are submerged.
3. Scrub the sweet potatoes to remove any dirt. Leaving their skin on, cut them into wedges about 2cm thick and 4cm wide. Place on a baking tray and coat with the oil and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are lovely and soft and starting to crisp around the edges.
4. Drain the dried figs but keep the soaking liquid. Pour the liquid into a frying pan set over a high heat and add the honey or maple syrup and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Add the fresh figs to the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes without moving the pan around too much, until the liquid starts to reduce and become a syrup. This will caramelise the fresh figs and infuse them with a sweet balsamic flavour. Once the liquid has become a syrup, remove the pan from the heat.
5. Put the washed rocket in the bottom of a large serving bowl and keep a few leaves for the top. Add the sweet potatoes, dried figs and caramelised fresh figs to the bowl and pour the syrup over the top. Scatter the reserved rocket leaves over the top. Lastly, crush the walnuts and sprinkle them over the top to serve.