Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mixed Green Salad with Pears, Goat Cheese, and a Fig Vinaigrette



When I came across this pretty looking salad, I thought it looked perfect as a light side dish for the crab leg dinner that my parents were making for us while we were visiting Kansas City for my sister's bridal shower.  I honestly don't think I had ever eaten figs before I made this, but I loved it in the dressing.  I used my favorite 18-year balsamic vinegar, which made for such a great flavor....make sure you use really good balsamic in this!

The salad was elegant enough for a special occasion or holiday, and it was easy and simple.  I loved this salad, but Kevin thought it would be better with some chopped walnuts or sliced almonds so I'll probably try that next time.  The recipe below makes the perfect amount of salad for 6 people.

Ingredients:

6 cups mixed salad greens
1-1/2 cups thinly, sliced, cored Bosc pear
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (I think I probably used more than this)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
5 dried Mission figs, stemmed and coarsely chopped
6 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt (I used coarse sea salt)

Directions:

Combine balsamic vinegar and dried Mission figs (stemmed and chopped) in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 5 minutes.

Combine the fig mixture, water and fresh lemon juice in a blender or use you immersion blender, and process until smooth.

In a small bowl (or use a mason jar so you can just shake it up) add the blended fig mixture with shallots, fresh thyme, crushed garlic, extra-virgin olive oil and Kosher salt. Stir or shake well to combine.

Thinly slice your Bosc pear, leaving the skin on. Place 1 cup greens on each of six plates; topping each serving with 1/4 cup pear and 2 teaspoons goat cheese. Drizzle vinaigrette over each serving.

Source:  The Noble Pig Blog

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