Chef Ben's Fall Flavors Salad
1 package mixed greens
¼ cup dried figs, quartered
¼ cup dried apricots, sliced
¼ cup dried cranberries (optional)
¼ cup pineapple chunks (optional)
¼ cup smoked gouda, shredded
⅓ cup toasted pine nuts
¼ cup white cranberry vinaigrette (see recipe)
½ cup white cranberry juice
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup white wine vinegar
Prepare the vinaigrette first. Use a whisk or food processor to mix all vinaigrette ingredients together, except the olive oil, until well combined. Continue to whisk or blend while adding the oil in a slow, steady stream until the oil is fully incorporated into the mixture.
Toss the greens with the vinaigrette until leaves are evenly coated. Refrigerate any remaining vinaigrette for up to one week.
Arrange the leaves on individual serving plates and then top first with the dried fruit, then the shredded cheese, finishing with the toasted pine nuts.