I'm as guilty as the next person in sticking to the usual tried and true mixed green salad so I'm here to tell you about a new kid on the block.
Imagine the impact on the old taste buds of fresh herbs including parsley, mint, dill and chives tossed with fresh mixed greens and topped with tiny slices of dried figs, crunchy toasted walnuts and shaved pecorino romano cheese. Add a jar of rich and creamy dressing, sweet with maple syrup and tart from balsamic to the equation along with a touch of garlic and a hint of mustard. Pretty darned amazing!
We took it a step farther last night. I left out the cheese and topped the salad with a piece of broiled salmon garnished with crisp and salty bacon. Sublime? You bet! Perfect after a day spent on the Alsea River fishing for Chinook on a not so typical 80 degree day on the Oregon coast. OK - now I'm bragging!
So shoot me.
Mixed Greens and Herb Salad with Walnuts and Figs (from JBug’s Kitchen adapted from Food & Wine; Dressing from Maple Syrup Cookbook by Ken Haedrich)
8 cups mixed greens
4 ounces sliced dried black mission figs
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
1 ounce shaved pecorino romano cheese (optional)
In a large bowl, toss together greens, walnuts, and herbs. Top with cheese. To serve, pass dressing on the side.
Maple Balsamic Dressing:
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Juice of 1 lime
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup canola or peanut oil
Salt & coarse ground black pepper
Combine vinegar, maple syrup, lime, garlic and mustard in a blender. Pulse well. With motor running add oil slowly until dressing is emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 1-1/2 cups. Store tightly covered in refrigerator.