Some salads are classics for a reason. Baby arugula salad with cabrales cheese, Spanish almond, and California Mission Figs from Chef Joanne Weir is the kind of thing you can pull together in five minutes provided you have the ingredients on hand.
California Dried Figs: A Natural Salad Addition
Dried Figs are a natural addition to salads of all stripes. Whether you go with our Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Mission Dried Figs with their intense jamminess or the amber nuttiness of Golden Dried Figs, you can’t go wrong. Both varieties of figs add their own personality to salads, whether chopped and tossed in or pulverized into dressing.
Baby Arugula: Greens with Personality
Is it too much to say there’s a green for every season or every reason? Joanne Weir’s a fan of adding figs to salads like her Escarole Salad with California Dried Figs, Walnuts, and Manchego, serving the figs with sturdy greens. Weir’s Melon, Fennel, Fresh Fig, and Grape Salad relies on frisée as the green of choice for a late summer salad and offers a dried fig version with frisée in her Dried Fig, Fennel, and Manchego Salad. The foundation of a salad is just as much of a flavor builder as the ingredients chopped, sliced, and tossed in. Peppery baby arugula adds a tiny bit of bite that holds up beautifully to the sharp tanginess of cheeses that are a bit blue.
Dried figs and blue cheese are a timeless pairing, so get to know Cabrales cheese, known in Spanish as queso de Cabrales. This particular blue cheese originates in Asturias, Spain made with unpasteurized cow’s milk or can be made with a mix of goat or sheep’s milk. The best place to find Cabrales cheese is at a gourmet cheese shop or store that sells Spanish ingredients. If you can’t find it, substitute a good blue cheese.
Marcona Almonds: a Spanish Almond You’ll Never Forget
You could use roasted almonds in this dish, but once you get ahold of Marcona, you might change your mind! Known as the “queen of almonds,” this Spanish almond offers more sweetness and with an oily sheen and a bit of salt.
About This Salad
If you choose to make it for you or just two, the dressing will keep for a few days in the refrigerator. You’ll have the other ingredients on hand and can pull together a gourmet salad in minutes!
Baby Arugula Fig Spanish Almond Salad with Cabrales Cheese
- 1 small shallot , finely minced
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 10 cups baby arugula
- 10 Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs
- 1/2 cup whole Marcona Spanish almonds
- 3 ounces Cabrales cheese
- In a small bowl, whisk together the shallots and sherry vinegar. Let sit 10 minutes. Add the olive oil and whisk together. Season to taste with salt.
- To serve, toss the arugula with the dressing, sliced dried figs and Marcona almonds. Crumble the blue onto the top. Place in a salad bowl and serve.