Arugula and Fresh Fig Salad
If you’re looking for a fresh tasting salad to accompany rich holiday dishes, this is a good choice. The combination of tangy arugula with the sweetness of figs, cucumber freshness and a lemony dressing blends so well together. It’s a tasty, healthy treat rich in fiber and folates *–and very easy to prepare. Topping with crumbled goat cheese adds additional richness and a creamy mouth feel to finish it off deliciously!
Arugula Salad with Fresh Figs, Cucumber and Goat Cheese
INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6)
- 1 large bunch or 2 bags of washed arugula (washed and spun in a salad dryer); you can remove some of the stems if you like
- 2-4 fresh figs, sliced thin (if fresh figs are not available, use tangerine pieces)
- 1 small/medium cucumber, peeled and sliced thin (depending on how much you like)
- 1/4–1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese; (Trader Joe’s sells it in a container)
- Lemon Vinaigrette:
- 1/3 cup olive or walnut oil (Walnut oil is a delicious choice)
- juice of 1 lemon
- Salt-free spice mix (there are several I use–including the 21 Spice Salute from TJ’s–yes, I’m a TJ’s fan)
- Salt-free lemon pepper to taste
1. Wisk dressing ingredients–let sit for about 1/2 hour to blend–then wisk again just before adding to the salad.
2. Put washed/dried arugula in a large salad bowl and toss with vinaigrette. (Tip: add dressing to salad greens before adding “additions” so that the additions stay on top for serving)
3. Arrange sliced figs/tangerines and cucumber on top of salad.
4. Crumble goat cheese on top and sprinkle with lemon pepper to taste.
After lots of rich food, cocktails and wines over the holiday rush, parties and family celebrations, I welcome a crisp salad using fresh winter ingredients, including the sweet taste of Fuyu persimmons, which are abundant during this season. As you probably know, there are two kinds of this golden orange fruit; the Fuyu, which can be eaten raw, like an apple, and the Hayachi, usually used in cooking, as it must be allowed to ripen until soft and mushy, otherwise it is very astringent. See the link below for an overview of persimmons.
For this salad I use the Fuyu and endive, which slightly bitter taste combines well with the sweetness of the persimmon. Add fresh crunchy romaine, some arugula, with a savory, tart dressing based on olive and walnut oil, and you have a salad that is refreshing for a jaded holiday palette and simply delicious.
Persimmon and Endive Salad
INGREDIENTS (serves 3-4)
- 1 romaine lettuce, torn into bite- size pieces
- 1 cup arugula
- 1 Fuyu persimmon, sliced into thin slices
- 1-2 endives, (depending on size), sliced
- 1/3 cup Olive oil
- 1/4 cup Walnut or other nut oil
- 2-3 Tbsp. Lemon juice
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1-2 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- Herbs de Provence
- Salt free seasoning/pepper to taste
1. Add romaine and arugula in a large salad bowl.
2. Wisk dressing ingredients in a separate bowl or container.
3. Dress and toss the salad greens before adding other ingredients on top, (a technique so that the toppings stay on top–from Rick’s daughter who worked as a catering assistant).
4. Add sliced endive and persimmons on top of dressed greens.
5. Sprinkle with sliced almonds, Herb de Provence and seasonings.