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Fig, Pear, Arugula, & Herb Salad

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  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salad

  • 4 dried figs, cherries, or cranberries
  • 1-2 Bosc pears
  • 8 cups wild and/or fresh arugula, baby spinach, Bibb and/or Boston lettuce
  • 1 cup lemon balm leaves, mint, thyme, and/or basil
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces (optional)
  • 3/4 cup croutons (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sliced or roughly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Chef’s note: This salad does not require exact measurements but can be assembled according to your tastes. If you don’t have an ingredient, substitute or leave it out—flexibility is key in this dish. Other optional additions are coriander, sage, and chive flowers.

Whisk vinegar and mustard together; add salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in olive oil until dressing is emulsified. Cut off tough parts of figs and chop into small pieces. Peel and core pears and slice. Add fruit to dressing to soften figs and keep pears from turning color. Toss cleaned and stemmed greens and herbs together and set aside. Just before serving, add dressing to greens gradually, spooning in fruit. Toss until leaves are coated but not soggy. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Toss well with pecans, croutons, and cheese.