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Arugula Salad with Blue Cheese and Fig Vinaigrette

This is a fantastic salad to start off a special meal. It is hearty in flavor, so make sure to follow it with something dramatic, or include it as part of a grilled meal. 



Even better, make a lot, add some bread and a nice bottle of Johannesburg Riesling and make it into a meal.

Ingredients

8 cups of Arugula or a mesculin mix of greens
1 cup of crumbled Blue Cheese, either Maytag Blue or Roquefort would be perfect
½ cup roasted or candied Pecans 
½ cup Pecan or Walnut oil, any other vegetable oil can be substituted, but not olive oil.
½ cup Balsamic Vinegar
¼ cup Green Onions
½ tsp. Sugar
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
5 to 6 dried Mission Figs, depending on the size.

Thoroughly wash the greens and let them sit in the colander to drain. They should be completely dry before tossing.

Toast the pecans in a preheated 175 degree oven on a cookie sheet for just 4 to 5 min. Watch them so they don’t burn. If using candied pecans, they don't need to be roasted.

Now, put the figs, oil, vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper into the food processor. A small mini version food processor is perfect for this. I find that I can emulsify the vinaigrette much better, if the oil is chilled. Make it by adding a little oil at a time, as in a classical vinaigrette preparation. Mix thoroughly until the vinaigrette is thickened and emulsified.

Take your greens and toss with the blue cheese, Green onions, pecans and then the vinaigrette. Toss thoroughly and serve immediately.


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