It's Thanksgiving and you want to participate in the "making of the meal" on a more highly respected level than just bringing the salad. However, the year you showed up with the weird tofu appetizer to the Turkey Day celebration you sealed your own dumb fate and have infinitely submerged yourself into salad making duty until kingdom come.
You are now known as "the beast of the feast" in small circles throughout your extended family. Sad but true.
I know, I know, you so desperately want to be promoted to "the side dish club", you learned your lesson, but your family is not so soon to forget your sinfully-lame appetizer blunder. I guarantee you were discussed in phone calls after the event. It was decided the family was willing to sacrifice the salad part of the meal and are expecting you to show up with an iceberg lettuce-bottled dressing concoction. They are okay with that.
It is up to you to prove them wrong.
This Mixed Green Salad with Pears, Goat Cheese and a Fig Vinaigrette will change everything for you. You might even be elevated to "dessert status" when you come calling with this simple but elegant tasting salad.
You will finally gain back your tarnished reputation...I promise.
Also, there will be a handful of you who will ask me if they can substitute some other kind of dried fruit for the figs. Well, you can do whatever you want but then you will not have this dressing. The figs are what makes it special. Also keep in mind, all balsamic vinegars are not created equal. Purchase the best balsamic you can afford, it really makes a difference. Many of the cheaper brands use caramel color and are not up to snuff quality wise, make sure you read the ingredient list.
Okay, let's put this salad together...
Here's what you will need: Mixed greens, a Bosc pear, crumbled goat cheese, balsamic vinaigrette, dried Mission Figs, fresh lemon juice, shallots, fresh thyme, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil and Kosher salt. Ingredients not shown: Water.
Combine 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar and 5 dried Mission figs (stemmed and chopped) in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 5 minutes.
Combine the fig mixture, 6 Tablespoons water and 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice in a blender or use you immersion blender, and process until smooth.
In a small bowl (or use a mason jar so you can just shake it up) add the blended fig mixture with 2 Tablespoons shallots, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, 2 cloves crushed garlic, 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt. Stir or shake well to combine.
Thinly slice your Bosc pear, leaving the skin on.
Place 1 cup greens on each of six plates; topping each serving with 1/4 cup pear and 2 teaspoons goat cheese. Drizzle vinaigrette over each serving.
I cannot even tell you how good this, just look at that dressing....yum.
And if you have someone who hates greens, just serve them this, it is excellent like this too.
Mixed Greens Salad with Pears, Goat Cheese and Fig Vinaigrette
You are going to love this salad.
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