Summer Salmon with Fig, Arugula, Chevre, and Vanilla Balsamic Salad

Christa Crawford

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Has anyone else been eating as much tree candy as I have lately? I’ve had a little more than my fair share of nectarines, peaches, and plums. Perhaps my favorite summer fruit is the fig. Too bad figs are total sugar bombs. They are delicious and seasonal. They only come once a year, so I say go for it. Using figs in a salad alongside a simple piece of salmon is unexpected. It’s perfect for a casual summer dinner.

This meal only takes about 20 minutes to make from start to finish. The vanilla adds some interest to the dressing, and the sweetness of the figs offsets the peppery taste of the arugula. I’d bet twenty bucks that the salad would be just as delicious with Castello blue cheese (check Trader Joes) instead of chevre. These recipes are by no means exact, but I did measure out the dressing so I could give you accurate ratios. I wanted to keep the dressing warm and a little sweet, so I omitted the traditional dijon. Because there is no emulsifier, be sure to shake the dressing immediately before tossing it with the salad so that it doesn’t separate. I kept the salmon simple, as the salad is complex enough on its own.

Fig, Arugula, Chevre, and Vanilla Balsamic Salad
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Vanilla Balsamic Dressing

  • 1/8 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. maple syrup or honey
  • 1/8 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 small pinch of salt
  • black pepper, to taste

Shake the ingredients in a sealed jar. Taste and adjust as needed.

Fig, Arugula, and Chevre Salad

  • Arugula
  • Figs, quartered
  • Chevre (goat cheese), crumbled
  • Red onions, thinly sliced

Toss the salad with the dressing. The dressing is strong, so you only need a little.

Pan Seared Salmon
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  • 6 oz. center cut piece of salmon
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • olive or coconut oil
  • lemon or lime

Heat the pan over a medium flame until it is hot. Drizzle a little oil in the pan, being sure to coat the entire surface of the pan. Place the salmon in the pan, skin-side up. If the oil seems to have dried up, add a little more oil before flipping the salmon. After about 4 minutes, flip the salmon so it is skin-side down. Cook another few minutes until the salmon reaches your preferred level of doneness. (With salmon, it’s usually better to err on the rare side rather than the overdone side.) At this point, you can leave the crispy skin on or you can easily remove it. Serve with lemon or lime.

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2 Responses to Summer Salmon with Fig, Arugula, Chevre, and Vanilla Balsamic Salad

  1. Nike Schwartz says:

    Wow. That is one sexy looking salad!

  2. 4dc2c says:

    Yes, indeed, good plan. Dolores

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