Fall Fest: Arugula-Fig Salad w/Blue Cheese & Warm Bacon Vinaigrette from Gluten Free Girl and The Chef

by White on Rice Couple on October 6, 2010

Fall Festis here and it’s a continuation of Summer Fest, a cross-blog recipe (and tip) swap. These events were started by Margaret Roach of Away to Garden and Deb Puchalla of Food Network. Previous themes were  Spinach and Apples. For this week, it’s all about Fall Salads.

Join and share yourblog write ups. Just post your link or recipe or idea in the comments below this post, and also share on the blogs of the other participants who are co-hosting as well.

Fall is the perfect time of year for salads because delicate lettuce and other greens start to flourish in the cooler Autumn air. Within a few day of sowing our seeds, tender sprigs of arugula and legumes start to peak out of the soil again. Another notable reason to indulge in salads is to start eating lighter before the onslaught of Holiday meals arrives!

Fall salads are particularly fun because of the wonderful savory and warm textures that the season brings. End of summer figs, pomegranates, toasted nuts, earthy beets, warm vinaigrettes and hearty cheeses are just a few examples of how we adorn our autumn greens. These robust platters of tender greens are a complete meal in themselves and serve as the perfect “good eating” before all the rich, festive holiday foods arrive.

Maybe it’s the cooler weather that makes us crave heartier salads. But earthy additions like roasted potatoes and beets make salads extra exciting. Toss in a few toasted nuts and we’ve just made the salads of champions.

Salads are also such a perfect dish to satisfy almost anyone we feed at home because they’re fresh and we can serve them to our gluten free guests! Thanks to our sweet friends Shauna James Ahern and Daniel Ahern of GlutenFreeGirl.com, we can indulge in perfect gluten free salads from their fabulous new cookbook,Gluten Free Girl and The Chef.

We had the pleasure and honor of producing Shauna and Daniel’s cookbook promo video. That was a life changing experience to work with this these two fantastic individuals. And their gluten free recipes are amazing, out of this world delicious.

This arugula-fig salad is from their wonderful cookbook, Gluten Free Girl and The Chef and it is so perfectly adorned with all that we love in our fall salads! Crispy bacon, sweet end-of season figs, tangy blue cheese and a warm vinaigrette from the bacon drippings are all to die for!

Arugula-Fig Salad w/ Blue Cheese and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette Recipe

Yield: 4 servings.

Total Time: 10 minutes

Adapted from Gluten-Free Girl & the Chef by Shauna and Daniel Ahern. We can't describe it any better than Danny & Shauna did in their book. This salad is sensuous.

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices thick-cut Smoked Bacon (cook in whole strips or cut slices)
  • 1 T Grape Seed Oil (or other neutral-flavored oil)
  • 1 Shallot, peeled & thinly sliced
  • 4 t Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 t Dijon Mustard
  • Sea Salt & fresh cracked Black Pepper
  • 1 lrg bunch Baby Arugula, or Frisee (@ 1/2 lb)
  • 1 pint fresh Figs, we used Strawberry Figs, but Missions are great too
  • 1/4 lb (4oz) Smoked Blue Cheese, or other fav. tangy blue

Directions:

  1. Over med-high heat, cook bacon until it just starts to crisp on the edges. Remove from pan & set aside.
  2. Pour off most of the bacon fat and reserve it for later. Leave a small skim of rendered fat at the bottom of the pan. Add sliced shallots to the saute pan over medium heat and quickly cook shallots until soft.
  3. Remove pan from heat and add the vinegar to shallot mixture. Whisk well. Then pour aside in a small bowl and add mustard, combine well.
  4. Pour about 3-4 tablespoons of the bacon fat back in to the saute pan and heat over medium heat. When fat is hot, carefully and vigorously whisk in the shallot mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Toss together arugula or frisee, strips of bacon, blue cheese and figs. Drizzle with bacon vinaigrette and toss into salad.
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

Hello! All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use our images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you. And remember in making the recipes, if using table salt instead of kosher or sea salt, make sure you reduce the salt amount.


More Fall Salad Recipes for Fall Fest. Share your links on our host’s blogs!

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tokyo Terrace October 6, 2010 at 3:04 am

Beautiful! This looks like the perfect fall salad. I love warm bacon vinaigrette. It’s such a warm, welcoming, flavorful addition to salads. The first photo makes me want to sit at your table!

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2 Julie Church October 6, 2010 at 4:17 am

Here is one of my favorite fall salads.

Apple-Pear Salad

Ingredients:

1 (16 oz.) package Romaine lettuce, washed and broken into bite-size pieces
1 (6 oz.) block Swiss cheese, grated
1 C cashews
1/2 C sweetened dried cranberries
1 large apple, chopped and rinsed in lemon water to keep from turning brown
1 large pear, chopped and rinsed in lemon water to keep from turning brown
Poppy Seed Salad Dressing (recipe below)

Directions:

Toss together all ingredients in a large bowl. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Poppy Seed Salad Dressing

Ingredients:

1/2 C sugar
2/3 C oil
1/4 C vinegar
1 t mustard
1 t salt
1-2 t poppy seeds

Directions:

Place in jar and shake to combine.

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3 joudie's Mood Food October 6, 2010 at 6:24 am

This look so colourful. Perfect for Autumn. I love figs and their ruby centres. Just perfect witht he bacon. Yumm!

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4 sandhya@vegetarianirvana October 6, 2010 at 6:26 am

Your picture of the bacon strip is so mouth watering, this life long vegetarian might even convert!
Here are some ideas for salad toppings we can make ahead, which comes handy when you have huge holiday crowds.
http://vegetarianirvana.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/homemade-salad-toppings/

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5 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. October 6, 2010 at 7:23 am

This looks fabulous! I am bookmarking this one for sure. Here’s a late summer salad perfect for this time of year with figs
http://www.ingredientsinc.net/2010/09/late-summer-salad-vegetable-salad-with-beets-and-goat-cheese/

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6 Ranjani October 6, 2010 at 7:28 am

I’m drooling just looking at that ingredient list. I’ve never had bacon vinaigrette, but now I can’t wait to make some!
This week I made a beet and apple salad:
http://4seasonsoffood.blogspot.com/2010/10/beet-and-apple-salad.html

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7 Purple Cook October 6, 2010 at 7:34 am

For Fall Fest:
This simple Arugula and Mustard Salad captures the taste of fall.
http://purplecook.blogspot.com/2010/10/arugula-mustard-salad.html

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8 Taylor October 6, 2010 at 7:40 am

You had me at Bacon, awesome pictures as always!

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9 Maria October 6, 2010 at 7:53 am

Love the video and this recipe. I can’t wait to buy the book!

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10 Kathleen October 6, 2010 at 8:56 am

Beautiful salad and I love the ingredients. My contribution is one of all time favorite salads that I first enjoyed in Paris.
http://dejavucook.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/monsieur’s-salade-of-carrots-walnuts-and-bleu-cheese/

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11 nicole October 6, 2010 at 9:59 am

That looks so refreshing. I never thought about it but I have been craving salads again. I’ll have to try this one. Those figs look mouth watering.

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12 Rachel October 6, 2010 at 11:38 am

Looks great! I have never played with figs but I may need to give them a try soon. The salad I made for fall fest is a Fall Salad with Apples, Walnuts, and Stilton
http://rachelsbite.blogspot.com/2010/10/fall-salad-with-apples-walnuts-and.html

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13 Soma October 6, 2010 at 1:42 pm

The figs are so good. The deep pink inside is so very pretty. Haven’t seen a single one here yet.

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14 Julie @ The Avocado Pit October 6, 2010 at 3:23 pm

That looks delightful. I love salads that mix savory and sweet tastes.
For my autumn salad celebration, I made an Endive, Apple & Walnut salad.
You can see the recipe here…http://theavocadopit.blogspot.com/2010/10/endive-apple-walnut-salad.html

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15 Shauna October 6, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Oh you two! These photographs are just gorgeous (no surprise). We adore you.

Thank you, from all three of us.

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16 laura @ alittlebarefoot October 6, 2010 at 5:24 pm

this is a combination of all my favorite flavors in one. must try it, thanks!

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17 Mini October 7, 2010 at 1:47 am

Looks colorful and mouthwaterin

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18 Liam O'Malley October 8, 2010 at 12:14 pm

I always love your photos so much. This looks wonderful.

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19 nicolette October 9, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Just look at those figs! I know I should be posting a recipe for a fall salad, but I had to comment right away. Your shots are gorgeous!

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20 napa farmhouse 1885/diane October 9, 2010 at 8:43 pm

i am so late to the party, but i posted a recipe for roasted beet, fig and orange salad. the figs and oranges are roasted too…and i used your recipe for fig & balsamic reduction! http://napafarmhouse1885.blogspot.com/2010/10/have-you-ever-roasted-oranges-and.html

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21 shirley@kokken69 October 10, 2010 at 5:56 pm

I am not a salad person but I am falling in love with this salad! I would totally order this if I see the photo on a menu!

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22 Nicole Franzen October 11, 2010 at 7:56 am

Those figs look divine :) YUM

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23 Gosia October 11, 2010 at 8:24 pm

I come here to devour the images, but without fail, I end up devouring the dish, too. I made this salad for the Canadian Thanksgiving dinner and it was stunning to look at and absolutely delicious to eat – delicate arugula paired with this serious dressing, but then mellowed down with the sweetness of the figs. Heaven! Thank you so much for sharing. Love everything about White on Rice Couple!

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24 Briana October 12, 2010 at 11:53 am

Looks delicious – what beautiful figs! Please try out my harvest orzo salad for a hearty fall entertaining dish: http://kitchenjourneys.com/2010/10/12/harvest-orzo-salad/

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25 Lyrical Lemongrass October 13, 2010 at 12:18 am

We eat salads as our main course for dinner around 3 times a week to counter the effects of eating all the other fatty stuff the other days of the week! I LOVE figs, but unfortunately, we can’t get them here in Malaysia (or if we do get them, they cost an arm and a leg). Your pics make me want to take the first flight out. I’m so tempted!!

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26 Carolyn Parker October 13, 2010 at 10:21 am

Beautiful!

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27 Stephanie Meyer October 13, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Stunning, as always. Inspired by your photos, as always. I enjoyed meeting you at BlogHer. And wish I had that salad for dinner!

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28 Garrett October 14, 2010 at 9:27 am

I love the videos you guys do. They’re just so damn awesome.

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29 Scott at Real Epicurean October 17, 2010 at 5:46 am

Now *that* is what I call delicious!

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30 ozhan October 17, 2010 at 12:40 pm

I love anything with fig, especially when the figs are such heavenly good. As for my contribution please check my arugula salad with pomegranate sauce recipe from the link below: http://www.thekitchenofoz.com/index.php/2010/03/arugula-salad-with-pomegranate-sauce/

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31 My Barbarian Table October 22, 2010 at 11:04 am

beautiful & stunning!
Leila

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32 Shanna ~ My Favorite Everything November 1, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Yep, “Sensuous” was the perfect description! Stunning photo!

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