Arugula and Escarole Salad with Blue Cheese, Figs, Walnuts, and Warm Port Dressing

wine pairing for fall

Ingredients: (serves four)

  • 1/3 cup port
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces dried figs (6 large or 12 small), stems removed
  • 1 cup coarse chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 medium shallots or 1/4 small red onion, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large bunches arugula, washed, dried, and leaves torn into bite-sized pieces (about
  • 3 cups, loosely packed)
  • 1 medium head escarole, washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces (about 6 cups, loosely packed)
  • 1/4 pound blue cheese, crumbled (preferably Roquefort or Stilton. Gorgonzola can be used if a milder flavor is desired.)

1. Bring port, sugar, and figs to boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Cover pan, reduce heat to low, and simmer until figs are very soft but not mushy, about 15 minutes. Reserving liquid in pan, remove figs with slotted spoon and, when cool enough to handle, quarter and set them aside. 2. Toast walnuts in toaster oven at 300 for four minutes. Stir nuts and return for another three minutes, remove from oven. 3. Whisk vinegar, shallots, salt, and pepper into port; gradually whisk in oil. Return figs to dressing and reheat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until warm but not steaming. 4. Toss greens and warm dressing to coat in large mixing bowl. Divide dressed greens among 6 serving plates, sprinkle with a portion of blue cheese and walnuts, and serve immediately.

Pair with Iron Gate Dixie Dawn

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