Southern Spinach Salad
- A composed salad of baby spinach, sliced Vidalia onions, toasted pecans, fig vinaigrette, and blue cheese croutons.
- 1 cup dried calymyra figs, stem cut off and quartered
- 1 1/2 cups champagne vinegar
- 1/4 cup diced shallots
- 1 1/2 cups good quality olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Salt and pepper
- 3 slices thinly sliced white bread, crusts removed, and halved diagonally, making 2 triangles
- 1/4 pound imported (preferably: fourme d'ambert) blue cheese, or a domestic blue
- 1/2 Vidalia onion, thinly sliced and divided into rings
- 1/2 cup pecans, toasted in a 300 degree F oven for 7 minutes
- 1 large bunch (about 4 cups) baby spinach
In a small pot over medium heat, rehydrate figs in vinegar for 1/2 hour. Let this mixture cool, then place in food processor, and pulse until figs are in small pieces. In a medium size bowl, whisk figs and shallots and add 1 1/2 cups olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Sprinkle the triangular toasts with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toast the croutons in the oven. Crumble some of the blue cheese on top of each crouton. Melt the blue cheese on the toast points underneath the broiler.
While cheese is melting, toss the baby spinach in the fig vinaigrette. Divide the spinach onto 2 plates, add 1/2 the onion slices and 1/2 the toasted pecans. Place 3 hot croutons on each plate.
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