Thursday, June 5, 2014

Tasty Salad with Basil Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette

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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add toasted nuts and toss very lightly.
  4. Reserve the chevre or feta to add last on individual servings, so that it will be pretty and white on top.

Fig Balsamic Vinegar


  1. Chop the fig and place in a small pan with about ½ cup Balsamic vinegar.

  2. Simmer slowly about 15 min, then allow to steep until figs are soft. Remove from heat, and add about ½ cup more vinegar. 
  3. Blend the mixture until fairly smooth; a stick blender works well. 
  4. 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

  1. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, fig balsamic vinegar, balsamic vinegar, basil pesto and mayonnaise. Whisk together until well blended.
  2. 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.

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