Fresh Fig + Toasted Pecan Fall Salad

fresh fig + toasted pecan salad | DisplacedHousewife

fresh fig + toasted pecan fall salad
{ ahhh }

I can feel fall…it’s just a stone’s-through away. Things just sound different right now…maybe it’s the lack of fans blowing, AC’s humming and kids squealing down the street because they’re all blissfully back in school. It feels and sounds like the seasons are changing. Let’s not talk about the fact that the thermostat could give a fig about this seasonal change or that the weather guy is forecasting 97 degrees F this weekend. 97 DEGREES!!! But whatever. I’m embracing autumn with a full body hug whilst sweat streams down my body. Accept it.

It is with this excitement that I usher in some fall recipes for us. I have quite a few lined up…think pumpkin, apples and a fall granola recipe. But today, we’re starting with this fall salad. She’s a beauty packed with baby arugula, studded with tart cherries, pecans and figs and glossed over with a cherry champagne vinaigrette. Super easy and quick to throw together…the most challenging prep is roasting the sweet potatoes and cooking the Israeli Couscous. We can handle that.

If we were eating this fall salad together, we might throw some grilled chicken together for added protein. I also think I’d really like a baguette with this, if you don’t mind. And wine. Not a cocktail, I’d like some wine with this. White please, thanks. Oh, and some cashmere socks. And a cashmere throw…and perhaps an oversized cashmere sweater. You’re allowed to have some football on the telly as long as it’s not too loud and you don’t stare at the screen the whole time. I need to talk. It’s imperative. Why don’t you pour a little more in my glass? And kick up the AC while you’re at it, all this cashmere is making me hot. Perfect. Ok. Fall, now we’re ready for you.

fresh fig, roasted pecan, goat cheese arugula salad | DisplacedHousewife

{ fresh fig + toasted pecan fall salad }

Serves 4 Main Entrée Salads

INGREDIENTS

For the Fall Salad

  • 7 cups baby arugula, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled Israeli couscous (follow the instructions on the box)
  • 2 cups sweet potato, scrubbed, peeled, 1/2-inch cubed and roasted (25 minutes at 400 degrees F should do it)
  • 1 cup fresh figs, sliced
  • 1 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, whole leaves
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup goat cheese, cut into small chunks

For the Dressing

  • 1/4 cup Champagne Vinegar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 heaping tablespoons dried tart cherries
  • 1 tablespoon shallot
  • ½ teaspoon garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Make sure your couscous is cooked and cooled and your sweet potatoes are roasted. Set aside for both to cool while you prep the rest of the fall salad.
  2. Put a skillet over medium heat and add your pecans (don’t add any butter or oil or anything). Periodically move them about the pan so that nobody gets burned…you just want to bring out the nutty, pecan-y flavors a bit. After five minutes, turn off the burner and allow the pecans to cool a beat.
  3. Next, let’s make the salad dressing. Throw all of the ingredients (Champagne vinegar, olive oil, dried cherries, shallot, garlic and salt) in a high speed blender and blend on high for 10 seconds until the mixture is completely incorporated. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, don’t fret. Finely chop the cherries, shallots and garlic and mix well with the vinegar and oil.
  4. In an extra-large bowl, throw in your arugula, couscous, figs, blueberries, pecans, sweet potato and goat cheese. I always like to hold back a wee bit of each ingredient so that after I have tossed the salad in the dressing, I can strategically place the extra salad ingredients on the top so that everyone knows what’s in the fall salad they’re about to eat. Sometimes ingredients sink to the bottom of a salad…it can’t be helped.
  5. Drizzle your dressing over the top.
  6. Give it a good toss and you’re done. Taste it. Are the flavors working for you? Adjust to your palate…this is your masterpiece. Does it need a quick dusting of salt? You decide. It’s beautiful…you really did a nice job today.
{ on my mind }
  1. I have a mad crush on George Hamilton right now. I know, it’s insane. I like to reference his coloring when baking: “You don’t want a George Hamilton bronze on these scones,” or “Make sure the sides of the cookie get a nice George Hamilton tan going.” And that was the extent that George Hamilton was in my life. And then (I catch my breath), I caught the Stewarts and the Hamiltons on E! You have to watch and you’ll see. He’s a lion…that’s all I’m saying.
  2. I replaced my dinosaur sprinkler system with something from this Millennium…I’m not watering at high noon anymore. I know some of you were losing sleep over my flagrant water usage. It’s fixed.
  3. Most recent cookbook purchase: Far & Near by Heidi Swanson. It’s B E A U T I F U L. Haven’t combed it cover-to-cover yet, but I keep telling Stella, “Look at it, it’s gorgeous.”
  4. Book I’m reading: Voracious by Cara Nicoletti. Read the first chapter and all I can think about is making my own sausage. She’s a butcher and a beautiful writer. She sounds like she’d be fun to cocktail with. I don’t know what else to add to that.
  5. I exercised twice this week…so I should be good until Christmas.
  6. Current obsession: Figs. Obvi. Last night I was perfecting an appetizer I have planned for an event this weekend: Fig + Goat Cheese Sammies. Picture two pieces of baguette, smeared with goat cheese on the inside (butter on the outside), two thinly sliced figs, fresh basil, a drizzle of honey and then seared in a hot cast-iron. OH MY GOD. It was heaven. Gavin had a friend over and they scarfed them down. I want to eat this every day until there are no figs left in the markets.
  7. Stop laughing about George. I mean it, go watch the show. If you’re a fan of low-brow programming, that is. If you think reality shows are for idiots, then don’t watch it. You’ll never respect me again.
  8. I hope you all have a stupendous week + weekend. Happy last days of summer 2015. xo

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8 Comments

  • Amanda Paa 2015/09/28 at 1:42 AM

    white wine, cashmere socks, and this salad? a fall day’s dream. love it my friend!

    Reply
  • DisplacedHousewife 2015/09/17 at 5:20 AM

    Oh Jessica…where’s my crying-laughing emoji when I need it. Thanks for the giggle. xox

    PS Watch the show!!

    Reply
  • Jessica | A Happy Food Dance 2015/09/17 at 4:43 AM

    George Hamilton…. you’ve had one too many glasses of wine friend! And it’s gonna be f-ing hot here too so pour me a glass, but you can keep that cashmere blanket, because this little beach bum has no AC! Lovely salad, perfect for this weather and I had figs about two weeks ago and didn’t know what to do with them… so the fruit flies ate them.

    Reply
  • Molly 2015/09/17 at 12:29 AM

    Re: George; watch “Where The Boys Are”, your crush will intensify. xo
    (And this sounds yummy!)

    Reply
    • DisplacedHousewife 2015/09/17 at 12:59 AM

      Thank you for mapping out my evening entertainment!! I’m glad you see it too!! ;) xoxo

      Reply
  • hilmopaige 2015/09/16 at 9:08 PM

    YOU SLAYYYY ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

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