Arugula, Escarole, and California Fig Salad with Warm Port Dressing

andrew@bytejockeyz.comRecipes, Salads

Valley Fig Growers

This salad makes an excellent first course before beef.

Arugula, Escarole, and California Fig Salad with Warm Port Dressing

Valley Fig Growers
Servings 6 people


  • 1 cup walnuts chopped coarse
  • 1/2 cup port
  • 4 ounces Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs 6 large or 12 small, stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 medium shallots minced (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large bunches arugula washed, dried, stems trimmed, and leaves torn into bite-size pieces (about 3 cups lightly packed)
  • 1 small head escarole washed, dried, and torn into bite-size pieces (about 6 cups lightly packed)
  • 4 ounces blue cheese crumbled (about 1 cup)


  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325° degrees. Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until they are fragrant and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, bring the port and figs to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the figs are soft but not mushy, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the figs to a clean plate, reserving the port in the saucepan. When the figs are cool enough to handle, cut them into quarters and set aside.
  • Whisk the vinegar, shallots, salt, pepper, and oil into the reserved port. Return the quartered figs to the saucepan and reheat over medium, stirring occasionally, until warm but not steaming, about 1 1⁄2 minutes.
  • Toss the arugula and escarole with the warm dressing in a large bowl. Arrange the greens on individual plates and sprinkle with the blue cheese and walnuts. Serve immediately.


This recipe is reprinted with permission of Cook’s Illustrated.
Recipe source: America’s Test Kitchen. Valley Fig is a proud sponsor of the America’s Test Kitchen.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!