Take advantage of the short fig season with this simple but delicious Fig and Pluot Salad.
Have you ever experienced a meal so incredible, so delicious, so creative that you just had to have it again?
What if you knew you couldn’t have this dinner again because:
1) You lived almost 3,000 miles away from said restaurant
2) This particular restaurant changes their menu every.single.day.
I happen to be talking about the 5 course dinner hubs and I enjoyed at Ad Hoc in Yountville, CA. When we set out for California this past summer, this was the first restaurant on my list, sure most people might think of French Laundry as their top contender for Thomas Keller restaurants, but I wanted Ad Hoc.
The meal started with a simple salad of fresh figs, stone fruit, speck, arugula and homemade croutons. We then moved on to an open faced BLT topped with a fried egg and homemade potato chips.
Next up – caveman sized rib eye (oh yeah, this was served family style, so caveman sized was totally acceptable). Finally a cheese course and then the most delectable caramel panna cotta with little brownie bites.
We were stuffed by the end, but it was completely worth it. Every bite was better than the last. Each ingredient was so incredibly fresh and perfectly prepared – to say my expectations were met would be an understatement.
With figs in season and pluots just at the very end of theirs, now was the time to recreate the salad from my meal at Ad Hoc. While pluots might be a challenge to find now, there are still a few varieties of plums lingering at the farmers market.
1 cup stale bread (ciabatta, french, sourdough, etc...) cut into 1 inch cubes
1 bunch (about 3 fistfuls) arugula
1 pluot or plum, pitted and cut into 1/4 inch slices
6 fresh figs, halved
For the dressing:
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
In a skillet, cook your pancetta on medium heat until crisp and brown on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain excess grease on a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F. and toss your cut bread with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook until toasted and lightly browned.In the bowl you plan to serve your salad, whisk together the dijon mustard and sherry vinegar. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified and season with salt and pepper.Add the arugula, cooked pancetta, sliced pluots, figs and croutons to the salad bowl.When ready to serve toss together and incorporate the salad dressing. Make sure not to toss the salad with the dressing too early otherwise the greens will wilt.