This is one of my son's favorite things. In fact, he claimed the over-filled bowl in the photo here, because it was the largest. :) I've been making vinaigrette and tossing it into salad before serving ever since I saw it done on America's Test Kitchen, although I skip the shallots and mustard. Then my sister-in-law gave us a bottle of basil olive oil, and a bottle of fig balsamic vinegar; that added a new lovely dimension I would not have thought of! Now that we've run out, I add those flavors back in myself.
I like the tomato in small cubes, so it blends with the other flavors, and the nuts toasted to bring out their flavor. A small sprinkle of dried fruit adds a nice touch; even if there is sugar added, a little is ok because of the fiber in the rest of the salad. I hope you enjoy it like we do!
Tasty Salad with Basil Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette
- whole pine nuts or crumbled pecans
- mesclun mix, romaine hearts, or fresh spinach
- tomato cut into ½” cubes
- dried fruit, such as cherries, cranberries, or mixed berries
- Pesto and Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette
- plain chevre or feta cheese, crumbled
- Place nuts in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often until fragrant and lightly browned. Remove from pan immediately onto a paper towel or in a small bowl to cool. Do not leave unattended while toasting: they go from perfect to burned in the blink of an eye.
- Place salad greens in a large bowl. Add tomatoes, dried fruit, and a moderate amount of vinaigrette. Gently toss to combine. A light amount of vinaigrette should cling to all the greens. Taste a leaf and add more if needed.
- Add toasted nuts and toss very lightly.
- Reserve the chevre or feta to add last on individual servings, so that it will be pretty and white on top.
Fig Balsamic Vinegar
- Chop the fig and place in a small pan with about ½ cup Balsamic vinegar.
- Blend the mixture until fairly smooth; a stick blender works well.
- Store in a jar; makes enough for several batches of vinaigrette. Refrigerate.
Basil Fig Balsamic vinaigrette
- 25 g extra virgin olive oil
- 25 g fig balsamic vinegar
- 25 g balsamic vinegar
- 15 g basil pesto
- 15 g mayonnaise
- 3 pinches sea salt
- pepper to taste
- In a small bowl, combine olive oil, fig balsamic vinegar, balsamic vinegar, basil pesto and mayonnaise. Whisk together until well blended.
- Whisk in salt, a pinch at a time, until the flavors balance and it becomes nicely tangy and full. Add a few grinds of pepper.