Arugula, Fig & Walnut Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette
Side Dishes

Arugula, Fig & Walnut Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette

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About This Recipe

Many culinary traditions add bacon—or bacon bits, pancetta, or lardons—to salads. Why not use some of the delicious fat in a salad dressing? It adds depth and a hit of salt to complement the nuts and greens in this deceptively simple entrée.

Arugula, Fig & Walnut Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette
Nutrition Info Print Recipe
  • Prep: 20 m
  • Total: 20 m
  • Servings:


  • 4 figs or 8 dired prunes/ apricots
  • 3 oz Parmesan
  • ½ cup walnut halves or pieces
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 8 cups arugula
Bacon Vinaigrette
  • 2 tbsp bacon fat rendered down
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • salt & peppper to taste


  1. Assemble, prepare, and measure ingredients. Quarter figs lengthwise (or halve prunes or dried apricots lengthwise). Using a vegetable peeler or cheese pull, shave Parmesan.
  2. Place walnut pieces in an ungreased skillet and toast over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, or until they release their nutty scent. Let cool in the pan.
  3. Fry bacon in a separate skillet over low heat for 15 minutes, or until fat has rendered. Drain off and reserve fat. Dry and blot bacon with paper towel. Crumble bacon when it’s cool enough to handle.
  4. For the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of reserved bacon fat with olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper. Whisk to emulsify, adding more olive oil or vinegar, 1 teaspoon at a time, if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  5. For the salad, tip arugula into a large salad bowl. Add vinaigrette and toss gently but thoroughly. Distribute figs (or prunes or dried apricots), Parmesan, walnuts, and bacon evenly over top. Don’t toss salad again or the small pieces will sink to the bottom of the bowl. Serve soon after dressing salad.
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