No. 285: Mixed Greens & Herb Salad with Figs & Walnuts

I've met nearly all the neighbors that we share a fence or street with. Or, if I haven't met the adults, I've met their kids as I go to the mailbox with our pups. It's a lively street!

The very first neighbor I met was Laura. Within a week of moving in she and her son walked up to say hi on a sunny afternoon. I love that.

She's invited us to dinner a couple times, but we always had to decline due to basketball games or work travel. Luckily, we could go this weekend!

Mixed Greens & Herb Salad

Laura asked me to bring a salad. Not knowing the main dish it would accompany, I decided this salad sounded fresh and delicious. Also important, it was pretty straightforward:)

Ingredients

1/2 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar*
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 ounces dried California figs, thinly sliced ( 2/3 cup)
8 cups mixed greens
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons torn mint leaves
2 tablespoons chopped dill
2 tablespoons snipped chives
1 ounce fresh pecorino, shaved

*Sherry vinegar may be hard to find. You can substitute rice vinegar, champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar as well.

To make

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast until golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.

Salad assembly

In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the figs, greens, parsley, mint, dill, chives, pecorino and walnuts and toss gently. Serve right away.

The results

I threw all the salad elements, minus the dressng, in a large bowl and put some foil on it for transport to dinner. Once it was time to serve, all it took was some dressing and a light toss.

I loved this salad. The fig, walnuts and cheese go together perfectly. It makes a simple green salad feel more gourmet than you expect. It also went surprisingly well with the grilled pizzas we had as an entree.

We had so much fun with Laura and Adam. They have two small kiddos under five and are working professionals like us, so lots in common. I anticipate some more fun in our futures.

Plus, Laura asked for the recipe, so looks like it was a hit!

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