Assembling a salad from leftover ingredients in my pantry can be a risky endeavor. In my college days, one could search my kitchen and find a stash of ketchup, marshmallows, and some questionably fuzzy-looking bread (Oh, how did my roommates and I survive?). These days, I feel so grown-up to say that I can find an array of well-stocked items: a bag of dried figs I planned to use over the holidays, a beautiful bottle of balsamic vinegar I’d been meaning to open, half a bag of sliced almonds, an apple, leftover ricotta (from the Eggplant-Ricotta-Tomato Crostini that we made again as our entire dinner the other night), and some orange-blossom honey. Put them all together with some greens, and they seem like they were meant for each other, melding into a flavorful, colorful, and fresh salad. Here’s to a grown-up pantry. Enjoy!
Dried Fig, Apple, Ricotta & Toasted Almond Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
(Makes 4 smallish salads)
- About 6 dried figs, each cut into quarters or smaller bites
- One Granny Smith apple, core removed and sliced thinly
- Several small spoonfuls of soft ricotta cheese (about 100 g./3-4 ounces)
- 100 g./3-4 ounces of sliced almonds, lightly toasted in a skillet without any oil
- 1 large package of mixed greens (I used a mix of arugula, baby spinach and other spring greens)
- For the vinaigrette: 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup honey (any kind will do), a drizzle of olive oil to emulsify (I didn’t measure, but go by sight/consistency as you whisk it in and give it a taste), fine sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Directions: Cut up the dried figs and apples and toast the almonds. Mix the vinaigrette, starting with the balsamic, then honey, and then whisk in the olive oil as you drizzle it in slowly. Taste the vinaigrette and add salt & pepper to taste. In a separate bowl, toss the greens with some of the vinaigrette until evenly coated. Transfer the dressed greens to salad bowls and arrange the apples, figs, and spoonfuls of ricotta on top. Drizzle each bowl with more vinaigrette and sprinkle on the toasted almonds. Serve immediately.
January 16, 2014 at 2:22 pm
Absolutely gorgeous. Wow!
January 22, 2014 at 10:37 am
Oh, thanks, Serena!
January 16, 2014 at 5:39 pm
What a beautiful salad! It looks so tasty too! I love all the different ingredients added to the salad. 😀
January 22, 2014 at 10:40 am
Thanks, Ada. I had never had dried figs in a salad before, but they were tasty with the almonds and cheese. I’ll have to make this one again 🙂
January 16, 2014 at 7:19 pm
Gorgeous salad, I love everything you have added. Salads can be so interesting, no need for them to be boring. This salad is exciting!
January 22, 2014 at 11:23 am
Thanks, Suzanne. I was drawn to these ingredients and was glad I tried the combination. Yeah, no need for boring salads! Sometimes I really crave a bright and fresh salad with lots of color and variety, and this hit the spot.
January 16, 2014 at 8:52 pm
You had me at “DRIED FIG, APPLE, RICOTTA & TOASTED ALMOND…” 😍😍😍
January 22, 2014 at 11:25 am
Looks like we have similar tastes! Glad it appeals to you too 🙂
January 22, 2014 at 11:26 am
I think we do ☺️☺️
January 16, 2014 at 9:02 pm
These are all of my favorite flavors and textures combined into one. It’s amazing how versatile and delicious salad can be when you erase that old idea of boring lettuce and tomato, right?!
January 22, 2014 at 11:26 am
Totally. A little sweetness, crunch and color, and it’s a salad makeover 🙂
January 16, 2014 at 10:14 pm
I love this salad. And here it just came out of your leftovers in the fridge and cupboard! It’s enough to send me out on a special trip to the market to purchase dried figs and ricotta! Hmmm. I just might. Beautiful photograph, so fresh and appetizing.
January 22, 2014 at 10:44 am
Thanks, I’m glad it inspired. We’re looking at another day of snow today and my pantry isn’t quite as fully stocked – now I’m contemplating a run to the market as well 🙂 The figs and ricotta were a surprisingly good combo in this one.
January 17, 2014 at 3:17 am
Beautiful salad 🙂
January 22, 2014 at 10:45 am
Thanks and hope you visit again!
January 22, 2014 at 1:53 pm
January 17, 2014 at 2:45 pm
I bet it tasted wonderful!
January 22, 2014 at 10:47 am
Yes, I actually made this for lunch and was happy to catch some daylight for the photos, but then I made the same thing for our dinner the same night – haha! It was yummy and guilt-free.
January 17, 2014 at 6:30 pm
This is the perfect salad. The figs are really calling my name. I could probably eat this for lunch every day – delicious!
January 22, 2014 at 10:49 am
Ah, that’s what those figs were saying! Yes, I think you might like it, we seem to have similar tastes 🙂
January 23, 2014 at 4:37 pm
Yes, I am noticing we have VERY similar tastes – you have not posted one recipe yet that I did not want to devour. 🙂 Keep ’em coming! – Shanna
January 18, 2014 at 2:02 am
What a wonderful looking salad!
January 22, 2014 at 10:51 am