Fig, Bacon, & Blue Cheese Salad With Fig Balsamic Dressing
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 2
For the dressing:
  • 3 TBSP fig preserves
  • 1-2 TBSP water, as needed
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
For the salad:
  • 4-5 slices bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 3-4 fresh figs (can be omitted if not in season)
  • Crumbled blue cheese, to taste
  • ~4 oz. mixed salad greens (I particularly like arugula, or a mix with frisee or watercress, which all have a peppery bite to them and go well with the sweetness of the dressing, or you can use whatever you like)
For the dressing:
  1. In a microwave safe bowl, stir together the fig preserves and water. Microwave for ten second intervals to help loosen the fig preserves, and to warm the dressing through (it is best served warm). This can also be done in a small pot on the stove. Add the balsamic dressing, and adjust to taste (more fig jam can be added for sweetness, more balsamic for a bit more acidity, or more water if the dressing is too thick). Set aside.
For the salad:
  1. Start by toasting the walnuts -- I like to do this in a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Keep a close eye on them, and stir or shake the pan every minute or so to prevent burning. They should be toasted and flavorful after about 5-6 minutes. Remove from the heat, and set aside.
  2. Cook the bacon until crispy, then drain on a paper-towel lined plate. Chop, or roughly crumble.
  3. While the bacon cooks, crumble the blue cheese, slice the figs, and get the greens in a bowl large enough for tossing.
  4. Here's the most important part: when you're ready to serve, assemble the salad. Add the walnuts and bacon, while still warm, to the salad greens, along with the blue cheese and sliced figs. Pour the warm dressing over everything (dressing can be reheated in the microwave, or on the stove, if needed), and toss everything until evenly coated.
  5. Divide into bowls, and serve immediately.
Yes, it matters that the salad be dressed like this. Something about every little piece being coated by a light, even layer of dressing brings all the flavors together. You could serve it up un-assembled, and have people assemble and dress their own bowls of salad, but I strongly recommend that they toss the salad well before digging in. What can I say, it really does make a difference.
Recipe by Will Cook For Friends at