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Salad with Balsamic Vinegar-Fig Reduction

Then, back at your desk, you start reading the blogs.  I hope this one is one of your stops because today I have a great and easy recipe for a delicious salad that could be what you have for dinner tonight to balance out whatever it was that you had for lunch today.  You can probably find everything to make it at the grocery store on a stop on your way home from work.

Figs are in season, too, so I had been wondering about how they would work in a salad.  I decided that they needed a little extra umph to bring them together with the greens.  I found a bottle of a lower-quality balsamic vinegar in the back of the cupboard that needed using up, and I had some walnuts in the freezer that could add some heft to the meal.  Pulling this together was really a snap, but the flavors themselves were so intense and robust that it belied how easy this is to make.  I could definitely see showing this off at a dinner party or just making it to treat yourself to something a little more interesting on a weeknight.

Salad with Balsamic Vinegar-Fig Reduction

Prep Time: about 30 minutes Serving Size: 4 portions

Ingredients: 1 cup balsamic vinegar (does not have to be top-quality) 7-8 black mission figs, chopped 1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted* about 3 cups your choice in lettuce leaves (I used one head green-leaf and one of Lolla Rossa) 1 Tbsp. good-quality extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 c. goat’s cheese, crumbled salt and pepper to season

Assembly: Pour the vinegar into a small saucepan and place over medium heat.  Once it has boiled, turn it down a little bit but leave high enough where you see the liquid bubbling.  Leave this alone for 15-20 minutes to cook down (reduce) until the vinegar is about 1/2 cup, checking on it periodically to make sure that you are not burning it.  Turn off the heat.

Place the lettuce leaves on four plates.  Drizzle a bit of extra-virgin olive oil over top of them.  Sprinkle each plate with a small pinch of salt and a couple of grinds of black pepper.  Then, spoon the vinegar-fig mixture over top of the lettuce.  Scatter 1/4 of the walnuts over each salad.  Dot each plate with the goat’s cheese.  Serve.

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