Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fig, Walnut and Chevre Salad

I feel kind of bad posting this because it's ridiculously easy; nonetheless, I am going to post it because everyone should have these ingredients on hand for just this purpose: to make a simple salad that looks really fantastic.

I'm sure there are many variations of this salad out there and I'm sure they're all fantastic, but this was really really good! It's also a really simple 'make ahead and take'. We went to some friends' house this weekend and I brought this salad basically prepared but not 'put together'. When we got there it took me two minutes to toss and prep. So fantastic.

For the salad:
1 pkg arugula (I used organic girl... I think it was about 5 or 6 cups, lightly packed)
About 20 dried figs, sliced thin
About 1 1/2 cups walnuts (note: I didn't measure; also, I used the 'halves and pieces' from Joe's)
1 pkg chevre (the small package), crumbled or 'chunked' since you can't really crumble chevre
For the dressing:
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon (ish) dijon mustard (I used spicy brown)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp truffle salt
about 1/4 tsp pepper

In a mason jar, or other 'salad shaking' aparatus, combine both vinegars, mustard, olive oil, truffle salt and pepper. Cover the jar and shake the heck out of it.

If you're taking this to another destination: put sliced figs and walnuts into a ziploc bag or other carrying aparatus. Get out a handy dandy reusable shopping tote and put in it: a large plate (to serve the salad on), the arugula, still in its original container, your mason jar of dressing, your bag of figs/walnuts, bottle of wine and a hostess gift.

When you get to your destination (or if you're serving the salad at your house), pull out the plate. Get a large bowl and put the arugula in it. Note: I had to do two batches because we had so much arugula. Pour some dressing over the arugula and toss. Additional note: when it comes to dressing, less is more; I will say it again... less is more!!! Guests can always add more of their own later on, but don't make that decision for them. I find it very offensive when my salad is swimming in dressing.

Transfer the tossed arugula onto your beautiful serving plate. On top of the arugula, artfully scatter the figs and walnuts across the top. Then 'chunk' the chevre into small bits and scatter on top.

Voila, you're ready to go. The nice thing about arugula is that it's hearty enough to stand up to dressing so you can dress it fairly early (don't do it too early) and it won't wilt. Also, it keeps fairly well if you have left overs and you didn't over dress.

Pop the beautiful plate of salad on the table with some tongs and you're ready to go. Goes great with fish, soup, tofu, bbq... you name it.


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