There is something so nostalgic and calming about warm summer nights. They remind me of spending evenings with my family out in our backyard gathered around a table full of food fresh off the grill, platters of bright and juicy garden tomatoes, and freshly picked herbs. This arugula and fig salad reminds me of the kinds of meals my family and I would have on those summer nights; it’s simple, delicious, and focused on celebrating fresh seasonal flavors.
Peppery arugula, subtly sweet figs, sharp and creamy blue cheese, plus pop of acidic vinaigrette make for such a well rounded dish. Toasted walnuts or pistachios would be a great textural addition to this salad, too. I served this with a cheese board full of cured meats, cheeses, and crusty baguette slices. We ended up putting bites of salad on top of our baguette slices and all of the ingredients really complimented each other. This salad would be great as a side with grilled fare, as a starter, or even as a main dish.
7 Ounces arugula
6-8 Figs, sliced vertically
4 Tablespoons crumbled blue cheese (omit to make this a vegan dish)
1 Shallot, diced
2 Tablespoons agave nectar or honey
2 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
3 Tablespoons of red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1/2 Lemon, juiced
1/4 Cup olive oil
1/2 Teaspoon crushed garlic or 1 garlic clove, diced
Pinch of salt and freshly cracked pepper
Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl and mix. Toss arugula and figs with vinaigrette in a large bowl, top with crumbled blue cheese. Bon appetit!