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Fig, Hazelnut, and Goat Cheese Salad

YieldsServes 4Total Time25 mins

Crunch, sweetness, and a touch of richness--this recipe has everything you want in a salad. Dress the greens separately, then tuck in the soft figs and cheese so they keep their shape.

Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Randy Mon

 1/2 cup hazelnuts
 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
 1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
 1/2 teaspoon honey
 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
 1/4 teaspoon pepper
 2 qts. (4 1/2 oz.) loosely packed Little Gem* lettuces or torn pieces of romaine hearts
 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
 8 figs, preferably a mix of green and black varieties (see "6 Figs to Try," below), stems trimmed, halved (quartered if large)
 4 ounces mild fresh goat cheese, at room temperature, crumbled
Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Toast hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet until fragrant and golden beneath skins, 11 to 12 minutes. Rub in a kitchen towel to remove loose skins, then chop roughly.

Step 2

Whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add lettuces, onion, mint, and nuts and gently toss to coat. Tuck in figs and cheese.

Step 3

6 Figs to Try

Step 4

Once dominated by dried fruit, California's fig industry, centered in the Central and Coachella Valleys, now sells a number of fresh varieties as well. Each is a little different--so try them all. Fresh figs are perishable; chill, loosely wrapped, up to 3 days.

Step 5

Black Mission. Purple-black skin and vermilion flesh; earthy, floral flavor.

Step 6

Brown Turkey. Purple-chocolate exterior; full, fruity flavor.

Step 7

Calimyrna. Pale yellow; buttery sweet, nutty flavor.

Step 8

Kadota. Light green skin changes to amber as it ripens; delicate flavor.

Step 9

Sierra. Another green variety; lightly aromatic with a hint of summer berries.

Step 10

Tiger (aka Panache). Green stripes on the outside, red inside; berry flavors.

Step 11

*Find Little Gem lettuce, a kind of miniature romaine, at farmers' markets and well-stocked grocery stores.

Nutrition Facts

Servings Serves 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 390Calories from Fat 69
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 31g48%

Saturated Fat 7g11%
Cholesterol 13mg5%
Sodium 233mg10%
Total Carbohydrate 25g9%

Dietary Fiber 5.4g2%
Protein 9g18%

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.