In order to take advantage of the tail-end of fig season, I scooped up a delightful bunch of fresh figs at the supermarket (on sale) the other day and decided to put them to use in a light, simple salad. I wanted to play on flavors that would complement the sweetness and tenderness of the figs so I grabbed some peppery arugula, creamy and tangy goat cheese and some candied pecans for crunch. Once home, I tossed the ingredients into a bowl with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction for tartness. It was probably one of the simplest, yet most decadent salads I’ve made in I don’t know how long. In no way did I feel bitter or slighted by my dinner salad (as I so often do), rather it felt as though I were being rewarded with a treat for a hard day’s work. I hope you will indulge in this salad when you get a chance- you deserve it!
Ingredients: (2 salads)
1 container/bag organic arugula (a few handfuls per salad, eyeball it)
3 to 4 fresh mission figs rinsed, trimmed and quartered
2 small scoops (about 1 tblsp) creamy, mild goat cheese (or you could used crumbled cheese as well)
2 small handful candied pecans (pick them up from the supermkt to save time)
Balsamic reduction: In order to make a reduction, simply simmer 1/3 to 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pot on the stove until the liquid is reduced to about half the original amount. Be sure to taste it for sweetness to ensure it has reduced enough. Do not over-reduce or else the liquid will become hard and stringy and totally inedible.
Directions: For each salad, toss a handful or so of arugula into a salad bowl with half the figs, goat cheese and pecans. Drizzle with enough balsamic reduction to suit your taste. Season with salt and pepper as well if you like.
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