Grilled Fig And Arugula Salad
For the vinaigrette:
3 dried Black Mission figs
1 cup ruby port
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon minced shallots
1/4 cup blended oil
Salt and pepper to taste
For the salad:
1/2 cup pancetta, diced
12 fresh figs, halved
6 bunches baby arugula
1 cup pecans, toasted
1 cup goat cheese, crumbled (preferably Laura Chenel Chévre)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the vinaigrette: Pour the port in a bowl, add the figs, and rehydrate until soft. Transfer the port and figs to a saucepan.
Reduce the port over medium heat to 1/2 cup, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Transfer the port mixture to a food processor (such as a Cusinart filled with a blade attachment) and add the vinegar. Purée until smooth. Add the shallots and slowly whisk in the oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper to taste.
For the salad: Sauté the pancetta in a small sauté pan over medium heat until the pancetta is crisp. Set the pancetta aside, reserving the “oil.”
Brush the figs with the pancetta “oil.” Grill the figs for 45 seconds on each side.
In a stainless-steel bowl, toss the arugula, pecans, pancetta, and goat cheese with the vinaigrette.
To serve: Divide the salad among 6 chilled plates and surround it with the grilled figs. Grind the pepper over each salad.