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Author Notes: Simple ingredients play off one another beautifully in this hearty fall salad. Manchego lends its buttery deliciousness to a big pile of bitter greens, sweet figs, and rustic herbed croutons. —Elizabeth Stark
For the herbed croutons:
- Two 1/2 inch-thick slices stale bread (I like sourdough)
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced mixed herbs (such as parsley, thyme, rosemary, chives, or tarragon)
- Rub each side of bread with the clove of garlic.
- Cut the bread into large triangles or cubes.
- Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil is warm, add the bread pieces. Add a sprinkle of sea salt and cook each side for 3 to 4 minutes, or until a deep golden brown. Toss with ground black pepper and herbs.
For the salad and vinaigrette:
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon honey
- 1 1/2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon minced mixed herbs
- 4 cups tender bitter greens, such as arugula, mustard greens, or mizuna
- 8 to 10 large figs, quartered
- 10 triangular slices Manchego cheese
- 2 triangular croutons
- Use a mortar and pestle to smash garlic and sea salt into a paste.
- Whisk the garlic mixture into the mustard, honey, and champagne vinegar, and then whisk in the olive oil. When mixture is emulsified, stir in shallots and herbs.
- In a large bowl, drizzle half the dressing over the greens and toss. Tuck figs and Manchego throughout. Toss gently, add a drizzle of dressing, and adjust seasoning. Plate each salad with two warm croutons.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!