I love fig season…and now is the time to enjoy them. Figs are great in salads and pair beautifully with soft cheeses like goat cheese as well as nuts like walnuts. The dressing for this salad is so delicious, that I will use it long after the season ends. Adjust the dressing and salad ingredients according the the amount of people you are serving.
1-1/2 teaspoons minced shallots (1/2 tablespoon)
1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt or fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
2 tablespoons walnut oil
4 large fresh figs (or 8 small), I used Black Mission
5 cups baby arugula (5 oz package)
2 ounces goat cheese , crumbled
Toast the Walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread walnuts into a single layer on a small baking sheet. Roast for 5-10 minutes until fragrant and toasted, stirring halfway through. Let cool while you prepare the vinaigrette.
Make the Vinaigrette
In a small bowl, stir together shallots, 1 tablespoon vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Slowly drizzle in walnut oil, whisking, until emulsified.
Taste the dressing. If you like it to have a more tart flavor, add an additional 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons vinegar. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
Assemble the Fig Salad
Cut stems from figs and slice in quarters if large and in half if small.
Toss baby arugula with the toasted walnuts and half of the vinaigrette. Arrange figs on the top of the salad and lightly drizzle each with a little of the remaining vinaigrette. Sprinkle the salad with crumbled goat cheese.
If desired, finish the salad with a few grinds of cracked black pepper and a few pinches of a medium-grind sea salt. Serve immediately.