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Grilled Fig and Arugula Salad

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recipe by Sondra Bernstein of Sonoma's acclaimed The Girl and the Fig restaurant.
Course Appetizer
Dish Type Salad
Diet and Health healthy-ish
Seasonal summer
Ingredient fig
Servings 6
Author Sondra Bernstein

Ingredients

For the vinaigrette:

  • 3 dried Black Mission figs
  • 1 cup ruby port
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1/4 cup blended oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:

  • 1/2 cup pancetta diced
  • 12 fresh figs halved
  • 6 bunches baby arugula
  • 1 cup pecans toasted
  • 1 cup goat cheese crumbled (preferably Laura Chenel Chévre)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

To prepare the vinaigrette:

  • Pour the port in a bowl, add the figs, and rehydrate until soft. Transfer the port and figs to a saucepan. Reduce the port over medium heat to ½ cup, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the port mixture to a food processor and add the vinegar. Purée until smooth. Add the shallots and slowly whisk in the oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper to taste.

To prepare the salad:

  • Sauté the pancetta in a small sauté pan over medium heat until the pancetta is crisp. Set the pancetta aside, reserving the “oil.” Brush the figs with the pancetta “oil.” Grill the figs for 45 seconds on each side. In a stainless-steel bowl, toss the arugula, pecans, pancetta, and goat cheese with the vinaigrette.

To serve:

  • Divide the salad among 6 chilled plates and surround it with the grilled figs. Grind the pepper over each salad.