- 2 tablespoons finely diced shallot
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 12 fresh figs, stems removed and cut in half
- 7 tablespoons California Olive Ranch extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ripe nectarine
- 1 ripe peach
- 2 ripe plums
- 1/2 basket (about 1 cup) blackberries or Persian mulberries
- 8 ounces arugula, cleaned and dried
- 1/2 lemon, for juicing
- 2/3 cup Marcona almonds
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine the shallot, vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl, and let sit 5 minutes.
Using a mortar and pestle, pound three fig halves to a coarse purée. Transfer the fig purée to the shallot mixture, and whisk in the California Olive Ranch extra-virgin olive oil. Taste for balance and seasoning.
Cut the nectarine, peach, and plums in half and remove the pits, and cut them into quarter-inch-thick slices. Place the sliced fruit, remaining figs, and berries in a large bowl.
Drizzle half of the vinaigrette over the fruit, and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss in the arugula, sprinkle in some more salt and pepper, and
taste for seasoning, adding more vinaigrette and a squeeze of lemon if needed. Arrange on a large chilled platter, and sprinkle the nuts on top.
Chef's Note: This recipe is a way to show off the best summer fruit you can find. If possible, use an assortment of fruits, such as plums, peaches, figs, and berries,
but make sure that all the fruit is up to snuff. Rather than striving for variety and ending up with less-than-ideal examples of each fruit, you’re better off
with a simpler salad composed of only the most perfect nectarines or gorgeous peaches all alone.
The dressing is made by pounding some of the fruit into a juicy vinaigrette. Figs are my favorite for this purpose. They mellow the vinegar and give the dressing
body and chunkiness. If you’ve never had a Marcona almond, you may not forgive me for introducing you to them. Rich and dense, this Spanish almond variety is outrageously addictive.
If you can’t find Marcona almonds, use toasted regular almonds or pecans.
Recipe printed with permission from Chef Suzanne Goin, Sunday Suppers at Lucques (Alfred A. Knopf, 2010)