Fresh figs...balsamic dressing...sun-dried tomato cashew cheese? How did I come up with this mad concoction?! Well, it's funny you ask.
It was an "inspirational accident," to say the least. It all started during my recent trip to Seattle, where I experienced one of the best vegan salads of my life. It was crispy spinach, fresh seasonal figs, herbed cashew cheese, candied pecans, sun dried tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette. You see, when you're first introduced to the world of salads, a salad is just a salad. It's nothing special, and almost every salad is the same. You think of a salad, and a picture of ice berg lettuce with tomatoes and cucumbers pops in your mind. Well...the sound, and quite frankly even the view of that, sounds disgusting. Salads don't have to be disgusting! They should be exciting, flavorful, rich, juicy, textured, nutritious, beautiful, (I could go on but I'll spare you).
And that's what this salad is. It's all of the above. It's easy to make and it's SO tasty, nutrient-dense and filling. It's not one of those "I'm still hungry I need 5 other meals after" type of salad. It's that darn good. I'm not just tooting my horn. (I've clearly been hanging around my mom too much).
So I figured out how to make my beloved Seattle fig salad at home, and the best part is: it takes less than 10 minutes to make and has less than 10 ingredients! Freaking salad magic if you ask me. Let's go boys!
PREP TIME: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 0 minutes SERVES: 1
GREENS & MIX-INS
4 cups of fresh baby spinach
2 fresh figs, cut into 4 pieces each
small handful of roasted, unsalted pecans
1 tbsp Miyoko's Sundried Tomato Cheese **
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
pinch of sea salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Feel free to use another nut-based cheese that crumbles. I recommend a blue cheese or herbed cheese if substituting for sundried tomato. I like Miyoko's because it has clean, trustworthy ingredients. This post is not sponsored by the brand! :) I believe VioLife has a good vegan blue cheese that crumbles as well.
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, sea salt and black pepper. Set aside.
2. Cut the figs into 4 pieces each. Set aside.
3. Rinse the baby spinach and pat dry (if not pre-washed). Add to a mixing bowl with the pecans and cheese.
4. Drizzle the dressing over the salad mixture. Lightly toss so that everything is well coated and the cheese evenly spreads throughout. Then add the figs. Lightly toss once more, but be careful to not mush the figs.
5. Serve to a serving plate or devour in the mixing bowl!