Arugula Salad with Fig Balsamic & Spiced Walnuts- Wine Country Trattoria

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Arugula Salad Ingredients:
15 dried black mission figs, divided
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup prepared balsamic dressing
4 cups baby arugula
4 cups mixed baby greens
1/2 cup shaved or thinly sliced fennel bulb
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 pound shredded smoked chicken (about 4 cups)
1 cup Spiced Walnuts
1/2 cup shaved aged (hard) goat cheese
Coarse salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Spiced Walnuts Ingredients:
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup walnut halves
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

For arugula salad:
1. Cut stems off of 12 figs; cut in half lengthwise. Combine balsamic vinegar and water in a medium bowl. Add halved figs to the balsamic mixture. Soak for at least 3 hours, and up to overnight. Drain figs, discarding soaking liquid.
2. Cut stems off of remaining 3 figs. Combine figs and prepared balsamic dressing in a blender. Puree until smooth. Set aside.
3. Combine arugula, mixed baby greens, shaved fennel, and red onion in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Place salad mixture into each of 4 serving bowls. Top each serving evenly with chicken. Drizzle each serving evenly with dressing, and top with halved figs, goat cheese, and walnuts.

For spiced walnuts:
1. Combine spices in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
2. Combine walnut halves and oil in a small saute pan over medium-high heat. Saute, stirring constantly, until walnuts start to toast and turn golden, about 2 minutes.
3. Sprinkle spice mixture over walnuts. Cook, tossing constantly, until walnuts are coated and mixture is fragrant, about 3 minutes.
4. Transfer walnuts to a plate to cool completely. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

XOXO
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