Suzanne Goin’s fruit salad isn’t your ordinary fruit salad. Instead, the acclaimed Los Angeles chef takes what can sometimes be a ho-hum dish and kicks it up the quality scale several notches. She does so by creating a dressing made from fresh figs that are pounded into a “juicy vinaigrette.” The salad also features argula and “outrageously addictive” Marcona almonds.
“This recipe is a way to show off the best summer fruit you can find,” said Goin, co-owner of Tavern, Lucques, and AOC in Los Angeles. She told us the salad aims to “reinforce the flavors and textures of all the luscious summer fruit.” (Click here to go to the recipe.)
Goin noted she likes a dish “to feel really integrated, so it doesn’t just taste like greens with pieces of fruit.” She added: “The whole salad taste and feels in your mouth of fruit.”
We’re featuring the salad — which appears in Goin’s book Sunday Suppers at Lucques (Knopf, 2005) — as part of our Fresh Creation blog series showcasing salads and dressings made from scratch. (You can get more salad recipes in our new Seasons Best eNewsletter.)
Goin recommends using a variety of fruits, such as plums, peaches, figs, and berries — with the caveat that the fruit must be “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,” she said.
Goin also recommends using pounded figs as the basis for the vinaigrette. “They mellow the vinegar and give the dressing body and chunkiness,” she said. The salad also calls for a favorite ingredient of ours: Marcona almonds, which originated in Spain.
“If you’ve never had a Marcona almond, you may not forgive me for introducing you to them,” Goin teased. “Rich and dense, this Spanish almond variety is outrageously addictive.”
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