Spinach Salad with Fig Dressing
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Spinach Salad with Fig Dressing is a wonderful addition to your next Italian dinner.
Figs are a well-known ingredient on Italian tables. They put them in tarts, roast them with meats, make jam with them, serve them with wine and cheese. You get the idea. And they’re pretty amazing in a spinach salad.
And this dressing. Can you hear me smacking my lips? Mama Mia! And I’m not even Italian.
But you don’t have to be Italian to love this dressing. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. Red Wine Vinegar. Balsamic Vinegar. Dijon Mustard. And Fig Jam. Drizzle it over a spinach salad and top with sliced dried figs, English walnuts, and slivers of fresh Parmesan. Let me just say YUM!
A few years ago I served my family an Authentic Italian Dinner with six courses. Yes, you read that correctly. SIX!
Did you know that an Italian salad course, or Insalata, is not the first or even second course? No, indeed. It is in fact the fourth course, which is served after the main dish to cleanse your palate. To get you ready for cheese and fruit, and then dessert!
So the courses are: Antipasto (appetizer), Primo (pasta), Secondo (meat), Insalata (salad), Formaggio e Frutta (cheese and fruit), and Dulce (dessert), which is served with coffee or espresso.
Isn’t that interesting? We Americans have it all backward. We eat salad to fill our bellies before our main dish so that we don’t overeat. Who would have guessed?
Try this Spinach Salad with Fig Dressing and eat it like an Italian. After the meat. I dare you.
Ingredients Needed to Make Spinach Salad with Fig Dressing
- extra-virgin olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- balsamic vinegar
- fig jam
- Dijon mustard
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- fresh spinach
- toasted English walnuts
- dried figs
- fresh Parmesan, thinly sliced
Instructions for Making This Recipe
Gather all your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table. Using a high speed blender, combine the extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, fig jam, Dijon mustard, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Blend together until smooth.
When ready to serve, toss the spinach with dressing in a large bowl. Place on individual salad bowls or plates. Top each serving with toasted English walnuts, sliced dried figs and thin slices of Parmesan. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper if desired.
You may also serve this salad family-style by mixing the English walnuts and dried figs in with the salad. Drizzle the salad with the dressing (or serve it on the side). Top with slices of fresh Parmesan.
This salad will serve 8-10 people.
Spinach Salad with Fig Dressing
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fig jam
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 16 oz fresh spinach
- 1 cup toasted English walnuts
- 1 cup dried figs chopped
- Fresh Parmesan thinly sliced
- Gather all your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table. Prepare your ingredients. Chop the dried figs. Using a vegetable peeler, slice thin pieces of fresh Parmesan and place in a bowl for later use on the salad. Toast the English walnuts on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 6-8 minutes until they just start to turn brown and smell fragrant.
- Using a high speed blender, combine the extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, fig jam, Dijon mustard, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Blend together until smooth.
- When ready to serve, toss the spinach with dressing in a large bowl. Place on individual salad bowls or plates. Top each serving with toasted English walnuts, sliced dried figs and thin slices of Parmesan. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper if desired. Serves 8-10.