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Fig, Hazelnut, and Goat Cheese Salad

Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Randy Mon

Total time 25 mins
Yield

Serves 4

Crunch, sweetness, and a touch of richness--this recipe has everything you want in a salad. Dress the greens separately, then tuck in the soft figs and cheese so they keep their shape.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 qts. (4 1/2 oz.) loosely packed Little Gem* lettuces or torn pieces of romaine hearts
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 8 figs, preferably a mix of green and black varieties (see "6 Figs to Try," below), stems trimmed, halved (quartered if large)
  • 4 ounces mild fresh goat cheese, at room temperature, crumbled

Nutrition Information

  • calories 390
  • caloriesfromfat 69 %
  • protein 9 g
  • fat 31 g
  • satfat 7 g
  • carbohydrate 25 g
  • fiber 5.4 g
  • sodium 233 mg
  • cholesterol 13 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Toast hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet until fragrant and golden beneath skins, 11 to 12 minutes. Rub in a kitchen towel to remove loose skins, then chop roughly.

  2. Whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add lettuces, onion, mint, and nuts and gently toss to coat. Tuck in figs and cheese.

  3. 6 Figs to Try

  4. Once dominated by dried fruit, California's fig industry, centered in the Central and Coachella Valleys, now sells a number of fresh varieties as well. Each is a little different--so try them all. Fresh figs are perishable; chill, loosely wrapped, up to 3 days.

  5. Black Mission. Purple-black skin and vermilion flesh; earthy, floral flavor.

  6. Brown Turkey. Purple-chocolate exterior; full, fruity flavor.

  7. Calimyrna. Pale yellow; buttery sweet, nutty flavor.

  8. Kadota. Light green skin changes to amber as it ripens; delicate flavor.

  9. Sierra. Another green variety; lightly aromatic with a hint of summer berries.

  10. Tiger (aka Panache). Green stripes on the outside, red inside; berry flavors.

  11. *Find Little Gem lettuce, a kind of miniature romaine, at farmers' markets and well-stocked grocery stores.